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T R A G E D Y 





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Jlonoon : 
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by K. M'Oorald, 13, Green Arbour Court, aa.l 
!! the Booksellers in the 

. ; om. 





I HAVE long lain under the greatest obligation 
to your Grace's family, and nothing has been more 
in my wishes, than that 1 might be able to dis- 
charge some part at least of so large a debt. JBut 
your noble birth and fortune, .the power and good- 
ness of your numerous friends, have placed you in 
such an independency, that the services I am able 
: to render to your Grace can never be advantageous, 
1 am sure not necessary, to you. However, the 
next piece of gratitude, and the only one I am capa- 
ble of, is the acknowledgment of what I owe : and 
as this is the most public, and indeed the only way 
I have of doing it, your Grace will pardon me if I 
take this opportunity to let the world know the duty 
and esteem I had for your illustrious father. It is, 
1 must confess, a very tender point to touch upon j 
and, at the first sight, may seem an ill-chosen com- 
pliment, to renew the memory of such a loss, espe- 
cially to a disposition so sweet and gentle, and to a 
heart so sensible of filial piety, as your Grace's has 
a 2 


been from your earliest childhood. But perhaps t 
is one of those griefs by which the heart may be made 
better ; and if the remembrance of his death bring 
heaviness along with it, the honour that is paid to 
his memory by all good men, shall wipe away those 
tears ; and the example of his life, set before your eyes, 
shall be of the greatest advantage to your Grace, in 
the conduct and future disposition of your own. 

In a character so amiable, as that of the Duke of 
Queensberry was, there can be no part so proper to 
begin with, as that which was in him, and is in all 
good men, the foundation of all other virtues, either 
religious or civil, I mean good-nature : good-nature, 
which is friendship between man and man, good- 
breeding in courts, chanty in religion, and the true 
spring of all beneficence in general. This was a qua- 
lity he possessed in as great a measure as any noble- 
man I ever had the honour to know. It was this 
natural sweetness of temper, which made him the 
best man in the world to live with, in any kind of 
relation. It was this made him a good master to his 
servants, a good friend to his friends, and the ten- 
derest father to his children. For the last I can have 
no better voucher than your Grace; and for the rest, 
I may appeal to all that have had the honour to know 
him. There was a spirit and pleasure in his conver- 
sation, which always enlivened the company he was 
in ; which, with a certain easiness and frankness in 
his disposition, that did not at all derogate from the dig- 
nity of his birth and character, rendered him infinitely 
agreeable : and as no man had a more delicate taste 


of intellectual enjoyment, or of natural wit and viva- 
city, his conversation always abounded in good hu- 
mour and instruction. 

For those parts of his character which relate to his 
political capacity, they will be best known by the 
great employments he passed through ; ail which he 
discharged worthily to himself, justly to the princes 
who employed him, and advantageously to his coun- 
*try. There is no occasion to enumerate his several 
employments, as secretary of state, for Scotland in 
particular, for Britain in general, or lord high com- 
missioner of Scotland ; which last office he bore 
more than once; but at no time more honourably, 
and (as I hope) more happily both for ihe presefit 
age and for posterity, than when he laid the founda- 
tion for the British Union. The constancy and ad- 
dress which he manifested on that occasion, are still 
fresh in every body's memory; and perhaps when 
our children shall reap those benefits from that work, 
which some people do not foresee and hope for now, 
they may remember the Duke of Queensbeny with 
that gratitude which such a service done to his coun- 
try deserves. 

He shewed, upon all occasions, a strict attachment 
to the crown, in the legal service of which no man 
could exert himself more dutifully, or more strenu- 
ously ; and at the same time, no man gave more bold 
and generous evidence of the love he bore to his 
country. Of the latter there can be no better proof, 
than the share he had in the late, happy Revolution ; 
nor of the former, than that dutiful respect, and uu* 
a 3 


shaken fidelity, which he preserved for her present 
majesty, even to his last moments. 

With so many good and great qualities, it is not 
strange that he, possessed so great a share in the esteem 
of the queen and her immediate predecessor ; nor that 
those great princes should repose the highest confi- 
dence in him : what a pattern has he left behind him 
for the nobility in general, and for your Grace in par- 
ticular, to copy after! 

Your Grace will forgive me, if my zeal for your 
welfare and honour (which not any body has more 
at heart than myself) shall press you with some more 
than ordinary warmth to the imitation of your noble 
father's virtues. You have, my lord, many great ad- 
vantages, which may encourage you to go on in pur- 
suit of this reputation : it has pleased God to give 
you naturally that sweetness of temper, which, as I 
before hinted, is the foundation of all good inclina- 
tions. You have the honour to be born, not only of 
the greatest, but of the best "of parents : of a noble- 
man generally beloved, and generally lamented; and of 
n lady adorned with all the virtues that enter into the 
character of a good wife, an admirable friend, and a 
most indulgent mother. The natural advantages of 
your mind have been cultivated by the most proper 
rules of education. You have the care of many noble 
friends, and especially of an excellent uncle, to watch 
over you in the tenderness of your youth. You set 
out amongst the first of mankind, and I doubt not 
but your virtues will be equal to the dignity of your 




That I may live to see your Grace eminent for the 
love of your country, for your service and duty to 
your prince, and, in convenient time, adorned with 
all the honours that have ever been conferred upon 
your noble family ; that you may be distinguished to 
posterity, as the bravest, greatest, and best man 
of the age you live in, is the hearty wish and 
prayer of, 

My Lord, 

Your Grace's most obedient, and 
Most faithful, humble servant, 




THE duty that obliges me to do what I have 
so often done by choice, cannot be complained of, 
unless indeed it had compelled rne to lower my ad- 
miration of this beautiful composition. 

It is possible that a man who has tuned his ear to 
the brilliant inequalities and unexpected bursts of 
Shakspeare's tragedy, may to a certain degree lan- 
guish over this of Rowe. The native of a moun- 
tainous region, who has familiarized himself to the 
bold scenery of crags and cataracts, may have im- 
bibed a taste that cannot harmonize with the tamer 
beauties of the level vale : its smoothly-gliding rivers 
will not animate him, whose passion has kept pace 
with torrents ; and the rich display of cultivated fer- 
tility may have no charms for the spectator, whose 
horizon has been ever bounded by savage desarts and 
high-towering rocks. We must therefore forgive the 


admirer of Shakspeare, if he can see no likeness of 
his favourite poet in this sketch ; where, if Rowe had 
caught any traces of that sublime original, as he con- 
ceived he had, it would at most have been but a copy 
in miniature. In fact, there is no more real simili- 
tude between this elegant drama and any one of the 
magnificent tragedies of Shakspeare, than there is be- 
tween the ballad of Tweed-side, and the Coronation 
anthem of Handel. 

Versification, wrought up to its highest polish, is 
the most prominent recommendation of Jane Shore. 
The English stage does not possess a finer sample of 
harmonious level writing. The plot is well-chosen, 
but it is not always well-managed. The inviolable 
friendship that Alicia pledges to Jane Shore, is 
changed at once into rancorous hatred; yet if the 
poet meant to make her sincere in her first profes- 
sion, (which it clearly appears that he did) nothing 
passes in the play to create that violent change, inas- 
much as she is described to have been to the full as 
jealous of Lord Hastings before her first intemew 
with him, as after it. In the mean time, it is a trick 
beneath the dignity of tragedy, and too infamous, too 
ridiculous, for a character of Alicia's cast, to change 
Jane Shore's petition, by a slight-of-hand manoeuvre 
barely passable in a comedy, and make Shore give 
the Duke of Gloster the petition which she (Alicia) 
had drawn up, and which the Duke ought to have 
been sure was an imposition upon the petitioner, and 
of course, not worthy of his serious attention; yet he 


does pay attention to it, and his remark upon 


" Should she presume to prate of such high mat- 

" ters, 
" The meddling harlot, dear should she abide it." 

The Lord Hastings is described, or rather describes 
himself, as a patriot, who 

" Would die with pleasure for his country's good." 

But when this great virtue made so striking a part of 
this self-applauding hero's character, it is a pity that 
his patriotism is shaded with such despicable proper- 
ties as certainly ought not to be found in company 
with it. For can any instance be given of a more 
debased, ungrateful, mean, and cowardly action, 
*han his conduct exhibits towards the generous 
Dumont, from whom he had received his life, 
after forfeiting it by a behaviour characteristic only 
of a bully and assassin ? What can be more pro- 
fligate and rascally than his attack upon Jane Shore, 
in the moment when she had thrown herself at his 
feet, and was pouring forth her acknowledgments for 
the protection he had shewn her through his interest 
with the Duke of Gloster? He must be a verv in- 
genious poet who could invent a more effectual way 
of blackening the human character than by an action 
of this sort. Neither can the language that this 
noble patriot holds towards Alicia, (so favoured as 
he has been by her) be considered as the language of 
& gentleman : it is unmanly, gross, and cruel. 

HOW Alicia came to leave him in possession of 


her apartment, after she had declared that she 


" See his last breath with indignation go, 

" And tread him sinking to the shades below." 

is not to be naturally accounted for: neither is there 
any reason given why Jane Shore, whom the author 
had dismissed to her repose long before, walks into 
the room as soon as Alicia had walked out of it, 
when the audience supposes her to have been in her 
first sleep. All this might have been taken care of; 
and no author, who had a regard for probabilities, 
ought to have neglected it. Let me add also, that 
the force which Lord Hastings attempts to put upon 
her in the common receiving-room of Alicia's house, 
open to the whole family, and to her ift particular, 
is glaringly inartificial. 

In the mean time the writing very rarely declines; 
and in the scene between Gloster and Jane Shore, 
as likewise in that between Hastings and Alicia, 
it is excellent. The character of the Protector is 
admirably well supported through every scene he is 
concerned in ; and if the poet had given us an in- 
terview between him and Alicia, after the execution 
of Lord Hastings, there is no doubt but he would 
have made it a fine and striking feature in his com- 
position. Indeed, it seems, in my humble judg- 
ment, so obvious, that I wonder he neglected it : 
for in the doing of this, he might have saved her 
character in a considerable degree, by making her 
avow herself to Gloster as the author of the peti- 



lion which she imposed on Jane Shore; and had 
she then, in addition to her execrations for the 
murder of Hastings, urged upon him her reproaches 
for his inhumanity to the penitent and expiring he- 
roine of the play, it would not only have been some 
off-set to her mad brutality towards the poor object 
whom by her artifice and unfounded jealousy she 
had destroyed, but have given a grand auxiliary in- 
terest and splendour to a catastrophe, which, as it is, 
though simple and affecting, is meagre, languid, and 
palpably but little calculated for stage-effect. 

* For the Life of Nicholas Howe, the author of this play, 
see the Fair Penitent- 


TO-NIGHT, if you have brought your good old taste^. 

We'll treat you with a downright English feast : 

A tale, which told long since in homely ivise, 

Hath never fail' d of melting gentle eyes. 

Let no nice sir despise our hapless dame, 

Because recording ballads chaunt her name - t 

Those venerable ancient song-enditers 

Soar'd many a pitch above our modern writers : 

They caterwaul' d in no romantic ditty, 

Sighing for Phillis's, or Chloe's pity. 

Justly they drew the fair, and spoke her plain, 

And sung her by her Christian name 'twas Jane. 

Our numbers may be more rejirfd than those, 

But ivhat we've gain'd in verse, we've lost in prose. 

Their words no shuffling, double-meaning knew, 

Their speech was homely, but their hearts were true. 

In such an age, immortal Shakspeare wrote, 

By no quaint rules, nor hampering critics taught; 

With rough majestic force he mov'd the heart, 

And strength and nature made amends for art. 

Our humble author does his steps pursue, 

He owns he had the mighty bard in view ; 

And in these scenes has made it more his care, 

To rouse the passions, than to charm the ear. 

Yet for those gentle beaux, who love the chime, 

The ends of acts still jingle into rhyme. 

The ladies too, he hopes, ivill not complain, 

Here are some subjects for a softer strain, 

A nymph forsaken, and a perjur'd swain. 

-What most he fears, is, lest the dames should frown, 

The dames of wit axd pleasure about town, 

To see our picture drawn unlike their own. 

But lest that error should provoke to fury 

The hospitable hundreds of old Drury, 

He bid me say, in our Jane Shore's defence, 

She dol'd about the charitable pence, 

Built hospitals, turn'd saint, anddy'd long since. 


For her example, whatsoe'er we make it, 
They have their choice to let alone or take it. 
Tho* few, as 1 conceive, will think it meet, 
To weep $o sorely for a sin so sweet : 
Or mourn and mortify the pleasant sense. 
To rise in tragedy two ages hence. 



Duke ofGLOSTER. 




Several Lords of the Council, Guards, and 

Scene, LONDON. 



The Tower. Enter the Duke of GLOSTER, Sir 

Gloster. THUS far success attends upon our councils, 
And each event has ansvver'd to my wish; 
The queen and all her upstart race are quell'd; 
Dorset is banish'd, and her brother Rivers, 
Ere this, lies shorter by the head at P mfret. 
The nobles have, with joint concurrence, nam'd me 
Protector of the. realm. My brother's children, 
Young Edward and the little York, are lodg'd 
Here, safe within the Tower. How say you, sirs, 
Does not this business wear a lucky face? 
The sceptre and the golden wreath of royalty 
JSeem hung within my reach. 

Rat. Then take 'em to you, 
And wear 'em long and worthily. You are 
The last remaining male of princely York, 
(For Edward's boys, the state esteems not of them) 
And therefore on your sov 'reign ty and rule, 
The common- weal does her dependence make, 
And leans upon your highness' able hand. 

Cat. And yet to-morrow does the council meet, 
To fix a day for Edward's coronation. 
Who can expound this riddle? 

Glost. That can I. 

Those lords are each one my opprov'd good friends, 
Of special trust and nearness to my bosom ; 
And howsoever busy they may seem, 
B 2 


And diligent to bustle in the state, 

Their zeal goes on no farther than we lead, 

And at our bidding stays. 

Cat. Yet there is one, 
And he amongst the foremost in his power, 
Of whom I wish your highness were assur'd. 
For me, perhaps it is my nature's fault, 
I own, I doubt of his inclining, much. 

Glost. I guess the man at whom your words would 
Hastings [point : 

Cat. The same. 

Glost. He bears me great good will. 

Cat. 'Tis true, to you, as to the lord protector, 
And Gloster's duke, he bows with lowly service : 
But were he bid to cry, God save king Richard ! 
Then tell me in what terms he would reply? 
Believe me, I have prov'd the man, and found him : 
I know he bears a most religious reverence 
To his dead master Edward's royal memory, 
And whither that may lead him is most plain. 
Yet more One of that stubborn sort he is, 
Who, if they once grow fond of an opinion, 
They call it honour, honesty, and faith, 
And sooner part with life than let it go. 

Glost. And yet this tough impracticable heart, 
Is govern'd by a dainty-finger'd girl ; 
Such flaws are found in the most worthy natures; 
A laughing, toying, wheedling, whimpering she 
Shall make him amble on a gossip's message, 
And take the distaff with a hand as patient 
As e'er did Hercules. 

Rat. The fair Alicia, 
Of noble birth, and exquisite of feature, 
Has held him long a vassal to her beauty. 

Cat. I fear, he fails in his allegiance there; 
Or mv intelligence is false, or else 
The dame has been too lavish of her feast, 
And fed him till he loathes. 

Glost, No more, he comes. 

Act 7. JANE SHORE. 3 

Enter Lord HASTINGS. 

Hast. Health, and the happiness of many days, 
Attend upon your grace. 

Glost. My good lord chamberlain, 
We're much beholden to your gentle friendship. 

Hast. My lord, I come an humble suitor to you. 

Glost. In right good time. Speak out your plea- 
sure freely. 

Hast. I am to move your highness in behalf 
Of Shore's unhappy wife. 

Glost. Say you, of Shore? [hig n: 

Hast. Once a bright star, that held her place ou 
The first and fairest of our English dames, 
While royal Edward held the sov'reign rule. 
Now sunk in grief, and pining with despair, 
Her waining form no longer shall incite 
Envy in woman, or desire in man. 
She never sees the sun, but thro' her tears. 
And wakes to sigh the live-long night away. 

Glost. Marry ! the times are badly chang'd with her, 
From Edward's days to these. Then all was jollity, 
Feasting and mirth, light wantonness arid laughter, 
Piping and playing, minstrelsy and masquing; 
'Till life fled from us like an idle dream, 
A shew of mummery without a meaning. 
My brother (rest and pardon to his soul !) 
Is gone to his account; for this his minion, 
The revel rout is done But you were speaking 
Concerning her ^ have been told, that you 
Are frequent in your visitation to her. 

Hast. No fanner, my good lord, than friendly pity, 
And tender-hearted charity allow. 

Glost. Go to ; 1 did not mean to chide you for it. 
For, sooth to say, I hold it noble in you 
To cherish the distress'd On with your tale* 

Hast. Thus it is, gracious sir, that certain officers 
Using the warrant of your mighty name, 
With insolence unjust, and lawless power, 
B .} 


Have seiz'd upon the lands which late she held 
By grant, from her great master Edward's bounty. 

Glost. Somewhat of this, but slightly, have I heard 
And tho' some counsellors of forward zeal, 
Some of most ceremonious sanctity, 
And bearded wisdom, often have provok'd 
The hand of justice to fall heavy on her; 
Yet still, in kind compassion of her weakness, 
And tender memory of Edward's love, 
I have withheld the merciless stern law 
From doing outrage on her helpless beauty, [mercy, 

Hast. Good Heav'n, who renders mercy back for 
With open-handed bounty shall repay you": 
This gentle deed shall fairly be set foremost, 
To screen the wild escapes of lawless passion, 
And the long train of frailties flesh is heir to. 

Glost. Thus far the voice of pity pleaded only : 
Our farther and more full extent of grace 
Is given to your request. Let her attend, 
And to ourself deliver up her griefs. 
She shall be heard with patience, and each wrong 
At full redress'd. But I have other news, 
Which much import us both ; for still my fortunes 
Go hand in hand with yours : our common foes, 
The queen's relations, our new-fangled gentry, 
Have fall'n their haughty crests That for vour pri- 
vacy. '[Exeunt. 


An Apartment in JANE SHORE'S House. Enter 


Bel. How she has liv'd you have heard my tale al- 
The rest your own attendance in her family, " [ready, 
Where I have found the means this day to place you, 
And nearer observation, best will tell you. 
See, with what sad and sober cheer she comes. 

Sure, or I read her visage much amiss, 
Or grief besets her hard. Save you, fair lady. 

Act f, JANE SHORE. $ 

The blessings of the cheerful morn be on you, 
And greet your beauty with its opening sweets. 

J. Sh. My gentle neighbour, your good wishes still 
Pursue my hapless fortunes! Ah, good Belmour! 
How few, like thee, inquire the wretched out, 
And court the offices ofcsoft humanity? 
Like thee reserve their raiment for the naked, 
Reach out their bread to feed the crying orphan, 
Or mix their pitying tears with those that weep? 
Thy praise deserves a better tongue than mine, 
To speak and bless thy name. * Is this the gentleman, 
Whose friendly service you commended to me? 

Bel. Madam, it is. 

J. Sh. A venerable aspect. [Aside, 

Age sits with decent grace upon his visage, 
And worthily becomes his silver locks ; 
He wears the marks of many years well spent, 
Of virtue, truth well try'd, arid wise experience ; 
A friend like this would suit my sorrows well. 
Fortune, 1 fear me, sir, has meant you ill, [To Dum. 
Who pays your merit with that scanty pittance, 
Which my poor hand and humble roof can give. 
But to supply these golden vantages, 
Which elsewhere you might find, expect to meet 
A just regard and value for your worth, 
The welcome of a friend, and the free partnership 
Of all that little good the world allows me. 

Dum. You over-rate me much; and all my answer 
Must be my future truth ; let them speak for me, 
And make up my deserving. 

J. Sh. Are you of England ? 

Dum. No, gracious lady, Flanders claims my birth; 
At Antwerp has my constant biding been, 
Where sometimes I have known more plenteous days 
Than these which now my failing age affords. 

J. Sh. Alas ! at Antwerp ! Oh, forgive my tears ! 


They fall for my offences and must fall 
Long, long ere they shall wash my stains away. 

6 JANE SHORE. Act 1. 

You knew perhaps Oh grief! oh shame ! my hus- 
band, [guish : 

Dum. 1 knew him well but stay this flood of an- 
The senseless grave feels not your pious sorro-vs. 
Three years and more are past, since I was bid, 
With many of our common friends to wait him 
To his last peaceful mansion. I attended, 
Sprinkled his clay-cold corse with holy drops, 
According to our church's rev'rend rife, 
And saw him laid in hallow'd ground, to rest. 

J. Sh. Oh, that my soul had known no joy but him! 
That 1 had liv'd within his guiltless arms, 
And dying slept in innocence beside him ! 
But now his dust abhors the fellowship, 
And scorns to mix with mine. 

Enter a Servant. 

Ser. The lady Alicia 
Attends your leisure. 

J. Sh. Say I wish to see her. [Exit Servant. 

Please, gentle sir, one moment to retire, 
I'll wait you on the instant, and inform you, 
Of each unhappy circumstance, in which 
Your friendly aid and counsel much may stead me, 

\_F,xennt Belmour ow^Dumont. 
Enter ALICIA. 

Alic. Still, my fair friend, still shall I find you 
Still shall these sighs heave after one another, [thus? 
These trickling drops chase one another still, 
As if the posting messengers of grief 
Could overtake the hours fled faraway, 
And make old Time come back? 

J. Sh. No, n>y Alicia, 

Heaven and his saints be witness to my thoughts, 
There is no hour of all my life o'er-past, ' 
That I could wish to take its turn again. [known, 

Alic. And yet some of those days my friend has 
Some of those years might pass for golden ones, 
At least if woman-kind can judge of happiness. 
What could wfi vish, we who delight in empire, 

Act 1. JANE SHORE. 7 

Whose beauty is our sov'reign good, and gives us 
Onr reasons to rebel, and povv'r to reign, 
What could we more than to behold a monarch, 
Lovely, renown'd, a conqueror, and young, 
Bound in our chains, and sighing at our feet? 

J. Sh. 'Tis true, the royal Edward was a wonder, 
The goodly pride of all our English youth; 
He was the very joy of all that saw him, 
Form'd to delight, to love, and to persuade. 

Impassive spirits and angelic natures 
' Might have been charm'd, like yielding human 
" weakness,. [talking." 

( Stoop'd from their Heav'n, and listen'd to his 
But what had I to do with kings and courts? 
My humble lot had cast me far beneath him ; 
And that he was the first of all mankind, 
The bravest and most lovely, was my curse. 

Alic. Sure, something more than fortune join'd 

your loves; 

Nor could his greatness, and his gracious form, 
Be elsewhere match'd so well, as to the sweetness 
And beauty of my friend. 

J. Sh. Name him no more: 
He was the bane and ruin of my peace. 
This anguish and these tears, these are the legacies 
His fatal love has left me. Thou wilt see me, 
Believe me, my Alicia, thou will see me, 
E'er yet a few short days pass o'er my head, 
Abandon'd to the very'utmost wretchedness. 
The hand of pow'r has seiz'd almost the whole 
Of what was left for needy life's support; 
Shortly thou wilt behold me poor, and kneeling 
Before thy charitable door for bread. 

Alic. Joy of my life, my dearest Shore, forbear 
To wound my heart with thy foreboding sorrows; 
Raise thy sad soul to better hopes than these, 
Lift up thy eyes, and let them shine once more, 
Bright as the morning sun above the mist. 
JExert thy charms, seek out the stern Protector^ 


And soothe his savage temper with thy beauty: 
Spite of his deadly* unrelenting nature, 
He shall be inov'd to pity, and redress thee. 

J. Sh, My form, alas ! has long forgot to please j 
The scene of beauty and delight is chang'd ; 
No roses bloom upon my fading cheek, 
Nor laughing graces wanton in my eyes ; 
But haggard grief, lean-looking sallow care, 
And pining discontent, a rueful train, 
Dwell on my brow, all hideous and forlorn. 
One only shadow of a hope is left me; 
The noble- minded Hastings, of his goodness, 
Has kindly underta'en to be my advocate, 
And move mv humble suit to angry Gloster. 

Alic. Does Hastings undertake to plead your cause? 
But wherefore should he not ? Hastings has eyes ; 
The gentle lord has a right tender heart, 
Melting and easy, yielding to impression, 
And catching the soft flame from each new beauty ; 
But yours shall charm him long. 

J. Sb. Away, you flatterer ! 

.Nor charge his gen'rous meaning with a weakness, 
Which his great soul and virtue must disdaiu. 
Too much of love thy hapless friend has prov'd, 
Too many giddy foolish houps are gone. 
And in fantastic measures danc'd away : 
May the remaining few know only friendship. 
So thou, my dearest, truest, best Alicia, 
Vouchsafe to lodge me in thy gentle heart, 
A partner there ; I will give up mankind, 
Forget the transports of increasing passion, 
And all the pangs we feel for its decay. 

Alic. Live ! live and reign for ever in my bosom ; 


Safe and unrivall'd there possess thy own; 
And you, the brightest of the stars above, 
Ye saints that once were women here below, 
Be witness of the truth, the holy friendship, 
Which here to this mv other self I vow. 


If 1 not bold her nearer to my soul, 
Than every other joy the world can give; 
Let poverty, deformity, and shame, 
Distraction and despair seize me on earth, 
Let not my faithless ghost have peace hereafter, 
Nor taste the bliss of your celestial fellowship. 

J. Sh. Yes, thou art true, and only thou art true: 
Therefore these jewels, once the lavish bounty 
Of royal JEd ward's love, 1 trust to thee ; 

[Giving a casket, 

Receive this, all that I can call my own, 
And let it rest unknown, and safe with thee : 
That if the state's injustice should oppress me, 
Strip me of all, and turn me out a wanderer, 
My wretchedness may find relief from thee, 
And shelter from the storm. 

Alic. My all is thine; 
One common hazard shall attend us both, 
A.nd both be fortunate, or both be wretched. 
But let thy fearful doubting heart be still ; 
The saints and angels have thee in their charge, 
\nd all things shall be well. Think not, the good, 
The gentle deeds of mercy thou hast done, 
5hall die forgotten all; " the poor, the pris'ner, 
' The fatherless, the friendless, and the widow, 
Who daily own the bounty of thy hand, 
Shall cry to Heav'n and pull a blessing on thee ;" 
v'n man, the merciless insulter man, 
Ian, who rejoices in pur sex's weakness, 
hall pity thee, and with unwonted goodness 
'orget thv failings, and record thy praise. 
J. Sh. Why should I think that man will do for me, 
Vhat yet he never did for wretches like me? 
lark by what partial justice we arejudg'd; 
uch is the fate unhappy women find, 
.nd such the curse entail'd upon our kind, 
"hat man, the lawless libertine, may rove, 
'ree and unquestion'd, through the wilds of love j 
/hile woman, sense and nature's easy fool, 
7 poor weak woman swerve from virtue's rule, 


If strongly charm'd, she leave the thorny way, 

And in the softer paths of pleasure stray, 

Ruin ensues, reproach and endless shame, 

And one false step entirely damns her fame: 

In vain with tears the loss she may deplore, 

In vain look back on what she was before; 

She sets, like stars that fall, to rise no more. [Exeunt. 


Continues. Enter ALICIA, speaking to JANE SHORE 
as entering. 

Alicia. No farther, gentle friend ; good angels 

guard you, 

And spread their gracious wings about your slumbers. 
The drowsy night grows on the world, and now 
The busy craftsmen and o'er-labour'd hind 
Forget the travail of the day in sleep : 
Care only wakes, and moping pensiveness; 
With meagre discontented looks they sit, 
And watch the wasting of the midnight taper, 
Such vigils must I keep, so wakes my soul, 
Restless and self-tormented! Oh, false Hastings ! 
Thou hast destroy'd my peace. [Knocking without. 
What noise is that! 

What visitor is this, who withhold freedom, 
Breaks in upon the peaceful night and rest. 
With such a rude approach? 

Enter a Servant. 

Seru. One from the court, 
Lord Hastings (as I think) demands my lady. 

Alic. Hastings! Be still, my heart, ami try to 

meet him 

With his own arts: with falsehood But he cornea. 
Enter Lord HASTINGS, speaks to a Servant as entering. 

Hast. Dismiss my train, and wait alone without, 
Alicia here! Unfortunate encounter! 
But be it as it may. 

Alic. When humbly, thus, 

Act 11. JANE SHORE, H 

The great descend to visit the afflicted, 
When thus, unmindful of their rest, they come 
To sooth the sorrows of the mfdnight mourner, 
Comfort comes with them ; like the golden sun, 
Dispels the sullen shades with her sweet influence, 
And cheers the melancholy house of care. 

Hast. 'Tis true, I would not over-rate a courtesy, 
Nor let the coldness of delay hang on it, 
To nip and blast its favour, like a frost; 
But rather chose, at this late hour, to come, 
That your fair fiiend may know I have prevail'd; 
The lord protector has receiv'd her suit, 
And means to shew her grace. 

Alic. My friend! my lord. 

Hast. Yes, lady, yours: none has a right more 
To task my pow'/than you. [ample 

Alic. 1 want the words, 
To pay you back a compliment so courtly ; 
But my heart guesses at the friendly meaning, 
And wo'not die your debtor. 

Hast. 'Tis well, madam. 
But I would see your friend. 

Alic. Oh, thou false lord! 
I would be mistress of my heaving heart, 
Stifle this rising rage, and learn from thee 
To dress my face in easy dull indiff'rence : 
But 'two' not be; my wrongs will tear their way, 
And rush at once upon thee. 

Hast. Are you wise? 

Have you the use of reason? Do you wake? 
What means this raving, this transporting passion? 

Alic. Oh, thou cool traitor! thou insulting tyrant! 
Dost thou behold my poor distracted heart, 
Thus rent with agonizing love and rage, 
And ask me what it means? Art thou not false? 
Am I not scorn'd, forsaken, and abandon'd, 
Left, like a common wretch, to shame and infamy, 
Giv'n up to be the sport of villains' tongues, 
Of laughing parasites, and lewd buffoons; 

12 JANE SHORE. Act 11. 

And all because my soul has doated on thee 
With love, with truth and tenderness unutterable? 

Hast. Are these the proofs of tenderness and love? 
These endless quarrels, discontents, and jealousies, 
These never-ceasing wail ings and complainings, 
These furious starts, these whirlwinds of the soul, 
Which every other moment rise to madness? 

Alic. What proof, alas! have I not giv'nof lovei 
What have I not abandon'd to thy arms ! 
Have I not set at nought my noble birth, 
A spotless fame, and an unblemish'd race, 
The peace of innocence, and pride of virtue? 
My prodigality has giv'n thee all ; 
And now, I've nothing left me to bestow, 
You hate the wretched bankrupt you have made. 

Hast. Why am I thus pursu'd from place to place, 
Kept in the view, and cross'd at every turn ! 
In vain 1 fty, and, like a hunted deer, 
Scud o'er trie lawns, and hasten to the covert; 
Ere I can reach my safety, you o'ertake me 
With the swift malice of some keen reproach. 
And drive the winged shaft deep in my heart. 

Alic. Hither you fly, and here you seek repose ; 
Spite of the poor deceit, your arts are known, 
Your pious, charitable, midnight visits. 

Hast. If you are wise, and prize your peace of mind, 
Yet take the friendly counsel of my love ; 
Believe me true, nor listen to your jealousy. 
Let not that devil, which undoes your sex, 
That cursed curiosity, seduce you 
To hunt for needless secrets, which, neglected, 
Shall never hurt your quiet ! but once known, 
Shall sit upon your heart, pinch it with pain, 
And banish the sweet sleep ior ever from you. 
Go to be yet advis'd , 

Alic. Dost thou in scorn, 
Preach patience to my rage, and bid me tamely 
Sit like a poor contented idiot down, [thee, 

Nor dare to think thou'st vvrong'd me? Ruin seize 


And swift perdition overtake thy treachery. 
Have I the least remaining cause to doubt ? 
Hast thou endeavour'd once to hide thy falsehood ? 
To hide it might have spoke some little tenderness, 
And shewn thee half unwilling to undo me: 
But thou disdain'st the weakness of humanity, 
Thy words, and all thy actions have confess'd it ; 
Ev'n now thy eyes avow it, now they speak, 
And insolently own the glorious villainy. 

Hast. Well, then, I own my heart has broke your 
Patient I bore the painful bondage long, [chains. 
At length my gen'rous love disdains your tyranny ; 
The bitterness and stings of taunting jealousy, 
Vexatious days, and jarring, joyless nights, 
Hath driv'n him forth to seek some safer shelter, 
Where he may rest his weary wings in peace. 

Alic. You triumph! do! and with gigantic pride 
Defy impending vengeance. Heav'n shall wink ; 
No more his arm shall roll the dreadful thunder, 
Nor send his lightnings forth: no more his justice 
Shall visit the presuming sons of men, 
But perjury, like thine, shall dwell in safety. 

Hast. Whate'er my fate decrees for me hereafter, 
Be present to me now, my better angel ! 
Preserve me from the storm that threatens now, 
And if I have beyond atonement sinn'd, 
Let any other kind of plague o'ertake me, 
So I escape the fury of that tongue. [lord, 

Alic. Thy pray'r is heard 1 go but know, proud 
Howe'er thou scorn'st the weakness of my sex, 
This feeble hand may find the means to reach thee, 
Howe'er sublime in pow'r and greatness plac'd, 
With royal favour guarded round and grac'd j 
On eagle's wings my raa,e shall urge her flight ; 
And hurl thee headlong from thy topmost height ; 
Then, like thy fate, superior will I sit, 
And view thee fall'n and grov'ling at my feet; 
See thy last brsath with indignation go, 
And tread thee sinking to the shades below. [Exit, 
c 2 

i wilal 



Hast. How fierce a fiend is passion ! With what 


What tyranny untam'd it reigns in woman ! 
Unhappy sex! whose easy yielding temper 
Gives way to ev'ry appetite alike : 
" Each gust of inclination uncontroul'd, 
" Sweeps thro' their souls and sets them in an uproar; 
" Each motion of the heart rises to fury," 
And love in their weak bosoms is a rage 
As terrible as hate, and as destructive. 
ff So the wind roars o'er the wide fenceless ocean, 
*' And heaves the billows of the boiling deep, 
" Alike from north, from south, from east, fro 

" west; 

" With equal force the tempest blows by turns 
" From every corner of the seaman's compass." 
But soft ye now for here comes one, disclaims 
Strife and her wrangling train ; of equal elements, 
Without one jarring at>m, was she form'd, 
And gentleness and joy make up her being. 


Forgive me, fair one, if officious friendship 
Intrudes on your repose, and comes thus late 
To greet you with the tidings of success. 
Tue princely Glosier has vouchsaf'd you hearing, 
To-morrow he expects you at the court; 
There plead your cause, with never-failing beauty, 
Speak ail your griefs, and find a full redress. 

J. Sh. Thus humbly let your lowly servant bend. 


Thus let me bow my grateful knee to earth, 
And ble*s your noble nature for this goodness. 

Hdst. R<se, gentle dame, you wrong my meaning 
Think me not guilty of a thought so vain, [much, 
To sell my courtesy for thanks like these. 

J. Sh. 'Tis true, your bounty is beyond my speak- 
ing: " [you; 
But tho' my mouth be dumb, my heart shall thank 
And when it melts before the throne of mercy, 


Mourning and bleeding for my past offences, 
My fervent soul shall breathe one pray'r for you, 
'If pray'rs of such a wretch are heard on high, 
That Heav'n will pay you back when most you need, 
The grace and goodness you have shewn to me. 

Ilast. If there be ought of merit in my service, 
Impute it there, where most 'tis due, to love ; 
Be kind, my gentle mistress, to my wishes, 
And satisfy my panting heart with beauty. 

J. Sh. Alas! my lord 

Has/. Why bend thy eyes to earth ? 
Wherefore these looks of heaviness and sorrow ? 
Why breathes that sigh, my love ? And wherefore 

This trickling show'r of tears, to stain thy sweetness? 

J. Sh. If pity dwells within your noble breast, 
(As sure it does) Oh, speak not to me thus. 

Hast. Can I behold thee, and not speak of love ? 
Ev'n now, thus sadly as thou stand'st before me, 
Thus desolate, dejected, and forlorn, 
Thy softness steals upon Yny yielding senses, 
Till my soul faints, and sickens with desire; 
How canst thou give this motion to my heart, 
And bid my tongue be still ? 

J. Sh. Cast round your eyes 
Upon the high-born beauties of the court; 
Behold, like opening roses, where they bloom, 
Sweet to the sense, unsully'd all, and spotless; 
There choose some worthy partner of your heart, 
To fill your arms, and bless your virtuous bed ; 
Nor turn your eyes this way, " where sin and misery, 
*' Like loathsome weeds have over-run the soil, 
* ( And the destroyer, shame, has laid all waste." 
Hast. What means this peevish, this fantastic 

change ? 

Where is thy wonted pleasantness of face, 
Thy wonted graces, and thy dimpled smiles ? 
Where hast thou lost thy wit, and sportive mirth ? 
That cheerful heart, which us'd to dance for ever, 
c 3 


And cast a day of gladness all around thee ? 

J. Sh. Yes, I will own I merit the reproach; 
And for those foolish days of wanton pride, 
My soul is justly humbled to the dust: 
All tongues, like yours, are licens'd to upbraid me, 
Still to repeat my guilt, to urge my infamy, 
And treat me like that abject thing I have been. 
Yet let the, saints be witness to this truth, 
That now, tho' late, 1 look with horror back, 
That I detest my wretched self, and curse 
My past polluted life. All-judging Heaven, 
Who knows my crimes, has seen my sorrow for 

" them." 

Hast. No more of this dull stuff'. 'Tis time enough 
To whine and mortify thyself with penance, 

When the decaying sewse is pall'd with pleasure, 
And weary nature tires in her last stage; 
Then weep and tell thy beads, when alt'ring rheums 
Have stain'd the lustre of thy starry eyes, 
And failing palsies shake thy \vithered hand." 
The present moment claims more gen'rous use; 
Thy beauty, night, and solitude, reproach me, 
For having talk'd thus long come, let me press thee, 

[Laying hold of her. 
Pant on thy bosom, sink into thy arms, 
And lose myself in the luxurious flood. 

J. Sh. ** Never! by those chaste lights above I 

" swear, 

" My soul shall never know pollution more;" 
Forbear my lord ! here rather let me die ; 


(< Let quick destruction overtake me here," 
And end my sorrows and my shame for ever. 

Hast. Away with this perverseness, tis too much. 
Nay, if you strive 'tis monstrous affectation! 


J. Sh. Retire! I beg you leave me 
Hast. Thus to coy it! 
With one who knows vou too. 


J. Sh. For mercy's sake 

Hast. Ungrateful woman ! Is it thus you pay 
My services? 

J. Sh. Abandon me to ruin 

Rather than urge me 

Hast. This way, to your chamber ; [Pulling her. 
Til ere if you struggle 

J. Sh Help, oh, gracious Heaven! 
Help! Save me! Help! [Exit. 

Enter DUMONT, he interposes. 

Dum. My Ion! ! for honour's sake 

Hast. Hah! What art thou! Begone! 

Dum. My duty calls me 
To my attendance on my mistress here. 

" J. Sh. For pity, let me go." 

Hast. Avaunt! base groom 

At distance wait, and know thy office better. 

Dum ." Forego your hold, my lord !" 'tis most un- 
This violence [manly 

Hast. Avoid the room this moment, 
" Or I will tread thy soul out." 

Dum. No, my lord 

The common tics of manhood call me now, 
And bid me thus stand up in the defence 
Of an oppress'd, unhappy, helpless woman. 

Hast. And dost thou kno'w me, slave? 

Dum. Yes, thou proud lord! 

I know thee well; know thee with each advantage 1 
Which wealth, or power, or noble birth can give thee. 
I know thee, too, for one who stains those honours, 
And blots a long illustrious line of ancestry, 
By poorly daring thus to wrong a woman. 

Hast. "Vis wondrous well ! I see, my saint-like dame, 
You stand provided of your braves and ruffians, 
To man your cause, and bluster in your brothel. 

Dum. Take back the foul reproach, unmanner'd 


Nor urge my rage too far, lest thou should'st find 
I have as daring spirits in my blood 


As thou or any of thy race li'er boasted ; 
And tho' no gaudy titles grac'd my birth, 
*' Titles, the servile courtier's lean reward, 
' Sometimes the pay of virtue, but more oft 
'-' The hire which greatness gives to slaves and 

" phants/' 

Yet Heav'n that made me honest, made me more 
Than ever king did when he made a lord. 

Hast. Insolent villain! henceforth let this teach 
thee [Draws, and strikes him. 

The distance 'twixt a peasant and a prince. 

Dum. Nay, then, my lord. \ Druwin^.~\ learn you 

ll-i " i i *" O_J J 

by this, how well 
An arm resolv'd can guard its master's life. 

" J. Sh. Oh, my distracting fears! hold, for sweet 
" Heav'n." 

[Theyjighl, Dumont disarms lord Hastings. 
Hast. Confusion! baffled by a base-born hind! 
Dum. Now, haughty sir, where is our difference 


Your life is in my hand, and did not honour, 
The gentleness of blood, and inborn virtue, 
(Howe'er unworthy I may seem to you) 
Plead in my bosom, I should take the forfeit. 
But wear your sword again ; and know, a lord 
Oppos'd against a man, is but a man. [tune 

Hast. Curse on my failing arm ! Your better for- 
Has given you vantage o'er me; but perhaps 
Your triumph may be bought with dear repentance. 

[Exit Hastings. 
J. Sh. Alas; what have ye done? Know ye the 

The mightiness that waits upon this lord ? 

Dum. Fear not, my worthiest mistress ; 'tis a cause 
In which Heaven's guards shall wait you. O pursue, 
Pursue the sacred counsels of your soul, 
Which urge you on to virtue; let not danger. 


Nor the ineamb'ring world, make faint your purpose. 

Assisting angels shall conduct your steps, 

Bring you to bliss, and crown your days with peace. 

J. Sh. Oh, that my head were laid, my sad eyes 


And my old corse wound in my shroud to rest! 
My painful heart will never cease to beat, 
Will never know a moment's peace till then. 

Dum. Would you be happy, leave this fatal place ; 
Fly from the court's pernicious neighbourhood; 
V\ here innocence is sham'd, and blushing modesty 
Is made the scorner's jest; where hate, deceit, 
And deadly ruin, wear the mask of beauty, 
And draw deluded fools with shews of pleasure. 
' J. S/t. Where should I fly, thus helpless and for- 
Of friends and all the means of life bereft? 

Dum. Belmour, whose friendly care still wakes to 

serve you, 

Has found you out a little peaceful refuge, 
Far from the court and the tumultuous city. 
Within an ancient forest's ample verge, 
There stands a lonely b*it a healthful dwelling, 
Built for convenience and the use of life : 
Around it fallows, meads, and pastures fair, 
A little garden, and a limpid brook, 
By nature's own contrivance seeafd disj>os'd; 
No neighbours, but a few poor simple clowns, 
Honest and true, with a well meaning priest : 
No faction, or domestic fury's rage, 
Did e'er disturb the quiet of that place, 
When the .contending nobles shook the land 
With York and Lancaster's disputed sway. 
Your virtue there may find a safe retreat 
From the insulting pow'rs of wicked greatness. 

J. Sh. Can there be so much happiness in store! 
A cell like that is all my hopes aspire to. 
Haste, then, and thither let us take our flight, 
B'er the clouds gather, and the wintry sky 


Descend^ in storms to intercept our passage. 

Dum. Will you then go? You glad my very soul. 
.Banish your fears, cast all your cares on rue ; 
Plenty and ease, and peace of mind shall wait you, 
And make your latter days of life most happy. 
Oh, lady! but T must not, cannot tell you, 
How anxious I have been for all your danger*, 
And how my heart rejoices at your safety. 
So when the spring renew? the flow'ry field, 
And warns the pregnant nightingale to build, 
She seeks the safest shelter of the wood, 
Where bhe may trust her little tuneful brood; 
Where no rude swains her shady cell may know, 
No serpents climb, nor blasting winds may blow; 
I 7 ond of the chosen place, she views it o'er, 
Sits there, and wanders thro' the groye no more; 
Warbling she charms it each returning night, j 

And loves it with a mother's dear delight. \_Exeunt. 

,; i 


The Court. Enter ALICIA, with a paper. 

Alicia. THIS paper to the protector's hand, 
With care and secrecy, must be convey'dj 
His bold ambition now avows its aim, 
To pluck the crown from Edward's infant brow, 
And fix it on his own. I know he holds 
My faithless Hastings adverse to his hopes, 
And much devoted to the orphan king; 
On that 1 build : this paper meets his doubts, 
And marks my hated rival as the cause 
Of Hastings' zeal for his dead master's sons. 
Oh, jealousy! thou bane of pleasing friendship, 
" Thou worst invader of onr tender bosoms," 
How does thy rancour poison all our softness, 
And turn our gentle nature into bitterness? 
See where she comes ! once my heart's dearest bles- 

Act 111. JANE SHORE. 21 

Now my chang'd eyes are blasted with her beauty, 

Loath that known face, ami sicken to behold her. 


J. Sk. " Now whither shall I fly to find relief? 
" What charitable hand will aid me now? 
" Will stay my falling steps," support my ruins, 
" And heal my wounded mind with balmy comfort ?" 
Oh, my Alicia! 

Alic. What new grief is this ? 
What unforeseen misfortune has surpri/'d thee, 
That racks thy tender heart thus? 

J. Sh. Oh, Dumont! 

Alic. Say what of him ? 

J. Sh. That friendly, honest man, 
Whom Belmour brought of late to my assistance, 
On whose kind care, whose diligence and faith, 
My surest trust was built, this very morn 
Was seiz'd on by the cruel hand of power, 
Forc'd from my house, and borne away to prison. 

Alic. To prison, said you ! Can you guess the 
cause ? 

J. Sh. Too well, I fear. His bold defence of me 
Has drawn the vengeance of Lord Hastings on him. 

Alic. Lord Hastings ! Ha! 

J. Sh. Some fitter time must tell thee 
The tale of my hard hap. Upon the present 
Hang all my poor, my last remaining hopes. 
Within this paper is my suit comain'd; 
Here as the princely Gloster passes forth, 
1 wait to give it on my humble knees, 
And move him for redress. 

[She gives the paper to Alicia, who opens and 
seems to read it. 

Alic. [Aside.'] Now for a wile, 
To sting my thoughtless rival to the heart ; 
To blast her fatal beauties, and divide her 
For ever from my perjur'd Hastings' eyes : 
" The wanderer may then look back to me, 
'* Arid turn to his forsaken home again ," 


Their fashions are the same, it cannot fail. 

[Pulling out the other paper. 

J. Sh. But see the great protector comes this way 

" Attended by a train of waiting courtiers." 

Give me the paper, friend. 

Alic. [Aside.~] For love and vengeance ! 

[She gives her the other paper. 

Enter the Duke of GLOSTER, Sir RICHARD RAT- 
CLIFFE, CATESBY, Courtiers, and other Atten- 
' J. Sh. [Kneeling.'] Oh, noble Gloster, turn thy 

gracious eye, 

Incline thy pitying ear to my complaint. 
A poor, undone, forsaken, helpless woman, 
Intreats a little bread for charity, 
To feed her wants, and save her life from perishing. 
Gloat. Arise, fair dame, and dry your wat'ry 

[Receiving the paper, and raising her. 
Beshrew me, but 'twere pity of his heart 
That could refuse a boon to such a suitress. 
Y' have got a noble friend to be your advocate ; 
A worthy and right gentle lord he is, 
And to his trust most true. This present now 
Some matters of the state detain our leisure; 
Those once dispatch'd, we'll call for you then, 
And give your griefs redress, Go to ! be comforted. 
J.Sh. Good Heav'ns repay your highness for this 


And shovv'r down blessings on your princely head. 
Come, my Alicia, reach thy friendly arm, 
And help me to support this feeble frame, 
That nodding totters with oppressive woe, 
And sinks beneath its load. [Exeunt. J.Sh. and Alic. 

Glost. Now by my holidame ! 
Heavy of heart she "seems, and sore afflicted. 
But thus it is when rude calamity 
Lays its strong gripe upon these mincing minions ; 
The dainty gew-gaw forms dissolve at once. 

Aft ill- JAXE SHORE, 3 

And shiver at the shock. What says her paper? 

[Seeming to read. 

Ha! what is this? Come nearer, Rate] irle! Catesby I 
Mark the contents, ami then divine the meaning. 

[lie reads. 

Wander not, princely Glostcr, at the notice 
This paper brings you from a friend unknown , 
Lord Hastings' is inclvid to call you master, 
And kneel to Richard, as to England's king 
But Chore's Iciatching icife misleads his heart , 
And draw ^ his strL-icc io King Edward's s: 
Di'ire her away, you break lite cLcrm thai ii'jUh him, 
And he, and all his powers, attend you. 
Rat. 'Tis wonderful ! 
CV//. Tiie means by which it came 
Yet stranger too ! 

Glost. i ou saw it given, but now. 
. She could not know the purport. 

GYoi-'. ISO, 'tis plain 

She knows it not, tt levels at her life ; 
Should she piesume to prate of such high matters, 
The meddling harlot, dear she should abitle it. 
Cat. What hand soe'er it comes from, be assur'd, 

It means your highness well 

Glost. Upon the instant, 
Lord Hastings will be here; this morn I mean 
To prove him to the quick ; then if he flinch, 
No tiicre but this away with him at once. 
He must be mine or nothing But he comes! 
Draw nearer this way, and observe me well. 

[They whisper. 
Enter Lord HASTINGS. 

Hast. This foolish woman hangs about my heart,, 
Lingers and wanders in my fancy still ; 
This coyness is put on, 'tis art and cunning, 

And worn to urge desire 1 must possess her. 

The groom, who lift his saucy hand against me. 
Ere this, is humbled, and repents hi;, ciaring: 
Perhaps, ev'n she may profit by th 1 example, 

24 JANE SHORE. Act 111. 

And teach herbeauly not to scorn my pow'r. 

Glost. This do, and wait me ere the council sits. 
[Exeunt Rat. and Cat. 

My lord, y'are well encounter'd ; here has been 
A fair petitioner this morning with us ; 
Believe me, she has won me much to pity her: 
Alas! her gentle nature was not made 
To buflet with adversity. I told her 
How worthily her cause you had befriended ; 
How much for your good sake we meant to do, 
That^ou had spoke, and all things should be well. 

Hast. Your highness binds me ever to your service. 

Glost. You know your friendship is most potent 

with us, 

And shares our power. But of this enough, 
For we have other matters for your ear; 
The state is out of tune; distracting fears, 
And jealous doubts, jar in our public councils; 
Amidst the wealthy city, murmurs rise, 
Lewd railings, and reproach On those that rule, 
With open scorn of government; hence credit, 
And public trust 'tvvixt man and man, are broke. 
The golden streams of commerce are withheld, 
Which fed the wants of needy hinds and artizans, 
W r ho therefore curse the great, and threat rebellion. 

Hast. The resty knaves are over-run with ease, 
As plenty ever is the nurse of faction; 
Ji in good days, like these, the headstrong held; 
Grow madly wanton and repine; it is 
Because the reigns of power are held too slack, 
And reverend authority of late 
Has worn a face of mercy more than justice. 

Ghst. Be shrew my heart ! but you have well dt- 


The s,ource of these disorders. Who can wonder 
If riot and misrule o'erturn the realm, 
W hen the crown sits upon a baby brow ? 
Plainly to speak ; hence comes the gen'ral cry, 
And sura of all complaint : 'twill ne'er be well 

Act 111. JANE SHORE. 5 

With England (thus they talk) while children govern. 

Hast. 'Tis true, the king is young ; but what of 


We feel no want of Edward's riper years, 
While Gloster's valour and most princely wisdom 
So well supply our infant sov'reign's place, 
His youth's support, and guardian to his throne. 

Glost. The council (much I'm bound to thank 'em 
Have plac'd a pageant sceptre in my hand, [for't) 
Barren of power, and subject to control; 
Scorn'd by my foes, and useless to my friends. 
Oh, wortny lord ! were mine the rule indeed, 
I think I should not suffer rank offence 
At large to lord it in the common weal : 
Nor would the realm be rent by discord thus, 
Thus fear and doubt, betwixt disputed titles. 

Hast. Of this I am to learn; as not supposing 
A doubt like this 

Glost. Ay, marry, but there is 
And that of much concern. Have you not heard 
How, on a late occasion, Doctor Shaw 
Has mov'd the people much about the lawfulness 
Of Edward's issue ? By right grave authority 
Of learning and religion, plainly proving, 
A bastard scion never should be grafted 
Upon a royal stock; from thence, at full 
Discoursing on my brother's former contract 
To Lady Elizabeth Lucy, long before 
His jolly match with that same buxom widow 
The queen he left behind him 

Hast. Ill befall 

Such meddling priests, who kindle up confusion, 
And vex the quiet world with their vain scruples! 
By Heav'n 'tis done in perfect spite to peace, 
Did not the king, 

Our royal roaster, Edward, in concurrence 
With nis estates assembled, well determine 
What course the sov'reign rule should take hence* 
, forward? 

?6 JAtfK SHORS. Ad III. 

When shrill the deadly hate of faction cease, 
When shall our long-divided land have rest, 
]{ every peevish, moody malecontent 
Shall set the sensrless rabble in an ur: 
Fright them with dangers, and perplex th : 
Each day, with some fantastic giddy chm> 

Glost. \Vhat if some patriot, for the public jrijod. 
Should vary from your scheme, ne-wmor.M th<- yrate : 

ffasl. Curse on the innovating hand attempts it! 
Remember him, the villain, righteous Heaven, 
In thy great day of vengeance! Blast the tfaitor 
And his. pernicious cowiS'.'ls ; who, for wealth, 
For pow'r, the pride of {*r<atr>ess, or revenge, 
Would plunge his native la ml in civil wars! 
Gfost. You go mo far, my lord. 

Hast. Your: h : -felon- 

Have we so soon forgot those clays of ruin, 
When York and Lancaster drew forth the battle? ; 
When, like a matron butcher'd by her sors, 
" And cast beside some common way. a spectacle 
" Of horror and affright to passers by,"" 
Our groaning country bled at every vein ; 
When murders, rapes, and massacres prevail'd; 
When churches, palaces, and cities blaz'd ; 
When insolence and barbarism triumph'd, 
And swept away distinction ; peasants trod 
Upon the necks of nobles; low were laid 
The reverend crosier, and the holy mitre, 
And desolation corer'd all the land ; 
Who can remember this, and not like me, 
Here vow to sheath a dagger in his heart, 
Whose damn'd ambition would renew those horror?, 
And set once more that scene of blood before us? 
Glost. Ifow now! so hot! 
Hast. So brave, and so resolv'd. 
Glost. Is thru our friendship of so Tittle moment, 
That yon could arm vonr hand against my life? 

/fast. Ihopeyour highness does not think I me^n it; 
No, Heisv'n forefend that e'er your princely person 

Act Til. JANE SHORE. 27 

Should come within the scope of my resentment. 

Glost. Oh, noble Hastings ! Nay, I must embrace 
you ; [Embraces him. 

By holy Paul, y' are a right honest man ! 
The time is full of danger and distrust, 
And warns us to be wary. Hold me not 
Too apt for jealousy and light surmise, 
If when 1 meant to lodge you next my heart, 
1 put your truth to trial. Keep your loyalty, 
And live, your king and country's best support : 
For me, I ask no more than honour gives, 
To think me yours, and rank me with your friends. 

Hast. Accept what thanks a grateful heart should 

P a y 

" Oh, princely Gloster ! Judge me not ungentle, 

" Of manners rude, and insolent of speech, 

<c If, when the public safety is in question, 

f< My zeal flows warm and eager from my tongue. 

" Glost. Enough of this : to deal in wordy com- 
" plirnent 

Is much against the nlainness of my nature : 
" I judge you by myself, a clear true spirit, 
" And, as such, once morejoin you to u;v bosom. 
c * Farewell and be my friend." [Exit Glost. 

Hast. I am not read, 

Nor skill'd and praciis'd in the arts of greatness, 
To kindle thus, and give a scope to passion. 
The duke is surely noble; but he tonch'd me 
Ev'n on the tend'rest point; the master-string 
That makes most harmony or discord to me. 
I own the glorious subject fires my breast, 
And my soul's darling passion stands confess'd; 
Beyond or love's or friendship's sacred band, 
Beyond myself, I prize my native land : 
On this foundation would I build my fame, 
And emulate the Greek and Roman name; 
Think England's peace bought cheaply with mf 


And die with pleasure for my covntrv's good. [JSatf . 

28 JAKE SHORE. Act If. 


Continues. Enter Duke of GLOSTER, RATCLIFFE, 

Gloster. THIS \vas the sum of all: that he would 
No alteration in the present state. [brook 

Marry, at last, the testy jic-nikuian 
Was almost mov'd to bid m bold defiance; 
But there I dropt the argument, and changing 
The first, design and purport of my speech, 
I prais'd his good affection for young Edward, 
And left him" to believe my thoughts like his. 
Proceed we then in this foremen lion'd matter, 
As nothing bound or trusting to his friendship. 

Rat. Ill does it thus befall. I could have wish'd 
This lord had stood with us. ** His friends are 

" wealthy; 

" Thereto, his own possessions large and mighty; 
" The vassals and dependants on his power 
" Firm in adherence, ready, bold, ana many ;" 
His name had been of vantage to your highness, 
And stood our present purpose much in stead. 

Glost. This wayward and perverse declining from 
Has warranted at full the friendly notice, [us, 

Which we this morn receiv'd. I hold it certain, 
This puling,, whining, harlot rules his reason, 
And prompts his zeal for Edward's bastard brood. 

Cat. If she have such dominion o'er his heart, 
And turn it at her will, you rule her fate ; 
And should by inference and apt deduction. 
Be arbiter of m's. Is not her bread, 
The very means immediate to her being, 
The bounty of your hand? Why does she live, 
If not to yield obedience to your pleasure, 
To speak, to act, to think as you command ? [sage ? 

Rat. Aether instruct her tpngue to bear your iiies? 
Teach every grace to smile in your behalf, 
And her deluded eyes to gloat for you ; 
His ductile reason will \>e wound about, 


Be led and turn'd again, say and unsay, 
Receive the yoke, and yield exact obedience, [low'd. 
Glosl. Your counsel likes me well, it shall be fol- 
She waits without, attending on her suit. 
Go, call her in, and leave us here alone. 

[Exeunt Ratcliffe and Calesby. 
How poor a thing is he, how worthy scorn, 
Who leaves the guidance of imperial manhood 
To such a paltry piece of stuff as this is! 
A moppet made of prettiness and pride; 
That of'tener does her giddy fancies change, 
Than glittering dew-drops in the sun do colours < 
Now, shame upon it ! was our reason given 
For such a use ! " To be thus pufi'd about 
*' Like a dry leaf, and idle straw, a feather, 
" The sport of every whiffling blast that blows? 
" JBeshrew my heart, but it is wond'rous strange;" 
Sure there is something more than witchcraft in them, 
That masters ev'n the wisest of us all. 

Oh! you are come most fitly. We have ponder'd 
On this your grievance ; and tho' some there are, 
Nay, and those great ones too, who wou'd enforce 
The rigour of our power to afflict you, 
And bear a heavy hand; yet fear not you : 
We've ta'en you to our favour; our protection 
Shall stand between, and shield you from mishap. 

J. Sh. The blessings of a heart with anguish broken, 
And rescu'd from despair, attend your highness. 
Alas! my gracious lord, what have I done 
To kindle such relentless wrath against me? 
' If in the days of all my past offences, 
When most my heart was lifted with delight, 
If I withheld rny morsel from the hungry, 
Forgot the widow's want, and orphan's cry; 
If I have known a good I have not shar'd, 
Nor call'd the poor to take his portion with me, 
Let my worst enemies stand forth, and now 
f.' Peny the succour, which I gave not then," 


Glost. Marry there are, tho' I believe them not, 
Who say you meddle in affairs of state : 
That you presume to prattle, like a busy-body, 
Give your advire and teach the lords o' th' council 
What fits the order of the common-weal. 

J. Sh. Oh, that the busy world, at least in this, 
Would take example from a wretch like me! 
None then would waste their hours in foreign thoughts, 
Forget themselves, and what concerns their peace, 
" To tread the mazes of fantastic falsehood, 
" To haunt their idle sounds and flying tales, 
" Thro' all the giddy, noisy courts of rumour; 
" Malicious slander never would have leisure" 
To search, with prying eyes, for faults abroad, 
If all, like me, consider'd their own hearts, 
And wept the sorrows which they found at home. 

Glost. Go to! I know your pow'r; and tho' I trust 
To ev'ry breath of fame, I'm not to learn [not 

That Hastings is profess'd your loving vassal. 
But fair befall your beauty : use it wisely, 
And it may stand your fortunes much in stead, 
Give back your forfeit land with large increase, 
And place you high in safety and in honour. 
Kay, I could point a way, the which pursuing, 
You shall not only bring yourself advantage, 
But give the realm much worthy cause to thank you. 

J. Sh. Oh! where or how Can my unworthy 

Become an instrument of good to any ? [hand 

Instruct your lowly slave, and let me fly 
To yield obedience to your dread command 

Glost. Why, that's well said Thus then Observe 

me well : 

The state, for many high and potent reasons, 
Deeming my brother Edward's sons unfit 
For the imperial weight of England's crown 

J. Sh. Alas! for pity. 

Glost. Therefore nave resolv'd 
To set aside their unavailing infancy, 
And vest the sov'reign rule in abler hands. 


This, tho' of great importance to the public, 
Hastings, for verv peevishness and spleen, 
Does stubbornly oppose. 

J. Sk. Does he ? Docs Hastings ? 

Gloat. Ay, Hastings. 

J '. *SY/.. Reward him for the noble deed, just Heav'n? ; 
For this one action, guard him, and distinguish him 
YV:'h ;?gaal mercies, and with great deliverance, 
Save him from wrong, adversity, and shame. 
Let never fading honours flourish round him, 
And consecrate his name : ev'n to time's end : 
'* Let him know nothing else but good on earth, 
" And everlasting blessedness hereafter." 

Glost. How now ! 

J.Sh. The poor, forsaken, royal) it lie one? ! 
Shall they be loft a prey to sa\-;;;s/ pn-.ver? 
Can they lift up their harmless hands in vain, 
Or cry to Heaven for help, an'! not be beard ? 
Impossible ! Oh, gallant, generous Ii^i!jit>,;->, 
Croon, pursue! assert the sacred ca; : - : 
Stand forth, thou proxy of all-ruling Providence, 
And save the friendless infants iron; oppression. 
Saints shall assist thee with prevailing prayerc, 
And waning angels combat on thy side. 

Glost. You're passing rich in this same heav'nly 


And spend itat yonr pleasure. N;'.y, but mark me! 
My favour is not bought with words like these. 
Goto you'll teach your tongue another tale. 

J. Sh. No, tho' the royal Edward has undone me, 
He was my king, my gracious master still; 
" He lov'd me too, tho' 'twas a guilty a flame, 
" And fatal to my peace, yet still he lov'd me; 
" With fondness, and with tenderness he doatcd, 
" Dwelt in my eyes, and liv'd hut in my smiles':" 
And can 1 O my heart abhors the thought ! 
Stand by, and see his children robb'd of right? 

Glost. Dare iv>t, ev'n for thy soul, to thwart me 


None of your arts, your feigning and your foolery; 
Your dainty squeamish coying to me ; 
Go to your lord, your paramour, begone! 
Lisp in his ear, hang wanton on his neck, 
And play your monkey gambols o'er to him. 
You know my purpose, look that you pursue it, 
And make him yield obedience to my will. 
Do it or woe upon thy harlots head. 

J. Sk. Oh, that my tongue had ev'ry grace of speech, 
Great and commanding as the breath of kings. 
' Sweet as the poet's number's, and prevailing 

poet's number's, and prevailing 
As soft persuasion to a love-sick maid j" 
That I had art and eloquence divine, 
To pay my duty to my master's ashes. 
And plead, till death, the cause of injur'd innocence. 

Glost. Ha! Dost thou brave me, minion! Dost 
thou know [thee? 

How vile, how very a wretch, my pow'r can make 
(f That I can let loose fear, distress, and famine, 
" To hunt thy heels, like hell-hounds, thro' the 
That I can place thee in such abject state, [world j" 
As help shall never find thee ; where, repining, 
Thou shall sit down and gnaw the earth for anguish; 
Groan to the pitiless winds without return ; 
Howl like the midnight wolf amidst the desert, 
And curse thy life, in bitterness and misery ? 

J. Sh. Let me be branded for the public scorn, 
Turn'd forth and driven to wander like a vagabond, 
Be friendless and forsaken, seek my bread 
Upon the barren wild, and desolate waste, 
Feed on my sighs, and drink my falling tears, 
Ere I consent to teach my lips injustice, 
Or wrong the orphan who has none to save him. 

Glost. ' Tis well we'll try the temper of your heart, 
What hoa ! who waits without? 

Enter RATCLTFFE, CATESBY, and Attendants. 

Rat. Your highness' pleasure [forth ! 

Glost. Go, some of you, and turn this strumpet 
Spurn her into the street ; there let her perish, 

Act IF* JANE *HORE. 33 

And rot upon a dunghill. Thro* the city 
See it proclaim'd, that none, on pain of death, 
Presume to give her comfort, food, or harbour : 
Who ministers the smallest comfort dies. 
Her house, her costly furniture and wealth, 
'* The purchase of her loose luxurious life," 
We seize on for the profit of the state. 
Away! Begone! 

J. Sh. Oh, thou most righteous judge 
Humbly behold, 1 bow myself to thee. 
And own thy justice in this hard decree : 
No longer, then my ripe offences spare. 
But what 1 merit, let me learn to bear. 
Yet since 'tis all my wretchedness can give, 
For my past crimes my forfeit life receive ; 
No pity for my sufferings here 1 crave, 
And only hope forgiveness in the grave. 

\JExit J. Shore, guarded by Catesby and others. 

Glost. So much for this. Your project's at an end. 

[To Ratcliffe. 

This idle toy, this hilding scorns my power, 
And sets us all at nought. See that a guard 
Be ready at my call. 

Eat. The council waits 
Upon your highness' leisure. 

Glost. Bid them enter. 
Enter the Duke of BUCKINGHAM, Earl of DERBY, 

Bishop o/'ELY, Lord HASTINGS, and others, as ( 

the council. TheDukeofGLo&TER takes his place 

at the upper end> then the rest sit. 

Derb. In happy times we are assembled here, 
T' appoint the day, and fix, the solemn pomp, 
For placing England's crown, with all due rites, 
Upon our sov'ieign Edward's youthful brow. 

Hast. Some busy meddlingknaves, 'tis said, there are. 
As such will still be prating, who presume 
To carp and cavil at his royal right j 
Therefore, 1 hold it fitting, with the soonest, 
T' appoint the order of the coronation ; 


So to approve our duty to the kino;, 

And stay the babbling of such vain gainsayers. 

Deri. We all attend to know your highness' plea- 
sure. [To Gloster. 

Glost. My lords, a set of worthy men you are, 
Prudent, ami just, and careful for the state; 
Then-Tore, to your most grave determination 
I yield myself in all things; and demand 
What punishment your wisdom shall think meet 
T' inflict upon those damnable contrivers, 
Who shall with potions, charms, and 'witching drugs, 
Practise against our person and onr life? 

Hast. So much J hold the king your highness' 
So precious are you to the common-weal, [debtor, 
That 1 presume not only for myself, 
But. in behalf of these my noble brothers, 
To sav, whoe'er they be, they merit death. 

dost. Then judge yourselves, convince your eyes 

of i ruth : 
Behold my arm, thus blasted, dry, and wilher'd, 

\Pulliiigup his flt'fcrs- 
ShrunU like a foul abortion, and decay'd, 
Like some untimely product of the seasons. 
Robb'd of its properties of strength and office. 
This is the sorcery of Edward's wife. 
Who, in conjunction with that harlot Shore, 
And other like confed'rate midnight hags, 
By force of potent spells, of bloody characters; 
And conjurations horrible to hear, 
Call fiends and spectres from the yawning deep, 
And set the ministers of hell at work, 
To torture and despoil me of my life. 

Hast. Jf they have done this deed 

Glost. If ihey have done it ! 
Talk'st thou to me of Ifs, audacious traitor I 
Thou ait that strumpet witch's chief abettor, 
The patron and complotter of her mischiefs, 
And join 'd in this contrivance for my death. 
Nay start not, lords What ho ! a guard there, sin 1 

If. !: SHORE. 3j 

I'Jiti'r (J yards. 

Lord Hastings, I arrest thee of hi^h treason. 
Seize him, and bear him instantly away. 
He sha'not live an hour. By holy Paul, 
1 will not dine before his head be brought me. 
Ratclifie, stay voirand see that it be done: 
The rest that love me, rise and follow me. 

[Exeunt Gloster, and I he Lords following. 

Mancnt Lord HASTINGS, RATCLIFFE, and Gua rih. 

Hast. What! and no more but this How! to the 

sea Hold : 

Oh, gentle Rut cliff c ! tell me, do I hold thee? 
Or if I dream, what shall 1 do to wake, 
To break, to struggle thro' this dread confusion? 
For surely death itself is not so painful 
As is this sudden horror and surprise. [absolute 

Rat. You heard the duke's commands to me were 
Therefore, my lord, address you to your shrift, 
With all good speed you may. Summon your courage, 
And be yourself; for you must die this instant. 

Hast- Yes,Ilaiclirle, I will take thy friendly counsel, 
And die as a man should; 'tis somewhat hard, 
To call my scatter'd spirits home at once: 
But since what must be, must be- let necessity 
Supply the place of time and preparation, 
And arm me for the blow. 'Tis but to die, 
'Tis but to venture on that common hazard, 
Which many a time in battle I have run : 
" Tis but to do, what at that very moment, 
*' In many nations of the peopled earth, 
" A thousand and a thousand shall do with me;" 
'Tis but to close my eyes and shut out day-light, 
To view no more the wicked ways of men, 
No longer to behold the tyrant Gloster, 
And be a weeping witness of the woes, 
The desolation, slaughter, and calamities, 
Which he shall bring on this unhappy land. 

Enter ALICIA. 
Alic. Stand off, and let me pass I will, I 


Catch him once more in these despairing arms. 
And hold him to my heart O Hastings! Hastings! 
Hast. Alas ! why com'st thou at this dreadful mo- 

To fill me with new terrors, new distractions; 
To turn me wild with thy distemper'd rage, 
And shock the peace of my departing soul? 
Away, I pr'ythee leave me ! 

Alic. Stop* a minute 

Till my full griefs find passage Oh, the tyrant! 
Perdition fall on Gloster's head and mine. 
Hast. What means thy frantic grief? 
Alic. I cannot speak 
But I have murder'd thee Oh, I could tell thee ! 

Hast. Speak and give ease to thy conflicting passion, 
Be quick, nor keep me longer in suspense, 
Time presses, and a thousand crowding thoughts 
Break in at once! this way and that they snatch, 
They tear my hurry'cl soul : all claim attention, 
And yet not one is heard. Oh ! speak, and leave me, 
For T have business would employ an age, 
And but a minute's time to get it done in. 

Alic. That, that's my grief 'tis I that urge thee on, 
Thus haunt thee to the toil, sweep thee from earth, 
And drive thee down this precipice of fate. 

Ha&t. Thy reason is grown wild. Could thy weak 


Bring on this mighty ruin? If it could, 
What have I done so grievous to thy soul, 
So deadly, so beyond the reach of pardon, 
That nothing but my life can make atonement? 

Alic. Thy cruel scorn hath stung me to the heart, 
And set my burning bosom all in flames : 
Raving and mad I flew to my revenge, 
And writ I know not what told the protector, 
That Shore's detested wife, by wiles, had won thee 
To plot against his greatness He believ'd it, 
(Oh, dire event of my pernicious counsel!) 
And, while I meant destruction on her head, 


H' has turn'd it all on thine. 

" Hast. Accursed jealousy! 
" Oh, merciless, wild and unforgiving fiend ! 
' Blindfold it runs to undistinguish'd mischief, 
' And murders all it meets. Curst be its rage, 
' For there is none so deadly; doubly curs'd 

* Be all those easy fools who give it harbour; 
' Who turn a monster loose among mankind, 

* Fiercer than famine, war, or spotted pestilence; 

* Baneful as death, and horrible as hell. 

" Alic. If thou wilt curse, curse rather thine own 

" falsehood ; 

" Curse the lewd maxims of thy perjur'd sex, 
" Which taught thee first to laugh at faith and justice; 
" To scorn the solemn sanctity of oaths, 
" And made a jest of a poor woman's ruin : 
" Curse thy proud heart, and thy insulting tongue, 
" That rais'd this fatal fury in my soul, 
" And urg'd my vengeance to undo us both." 

Hast. Oh, thou inhuman ! Turn thy eyes away, 
And blast me not with their destructive beams: 
Why should J curse thee with my dying breath? 
Begone! and let me die in peace. 

Alic. Can'st thou Oh, cruel Hastings, leave me 


Hear rne, 1 beg thee I conjure thee, hear me ! 
While with an agonizing heart, I swear, 
By all the pangs I feel, by all the sorrows, 
The terrors and despair tny loss shall give me, 
My hate was on my rival bent alone. 
On ! had 1 once divin'd, false as thou art, 
A danger to thy life, I would have dy'd, 
I would have Diet it for thee, and made bare 
My ready faithful breast to save thee from it. 

Hast. Now mark! and tremble at Heaven's just 

award ! 

While thy insatiate wrath, and fell revenge, 
Pursu'd the innocence which never wrong'd thee, 
Behold, the mischief falls ou thee and me : 

-8 JA\ T E SHORE. Act IT. 

lleinorse and heaviness of heart shall wait ! ; . 

And everlasting a;>gui>h he thy portion : 

[''CM- me, the snares of death are wound about me, 

And now, in one poor moment, I am gone. 

Oh ! i/ then IK-SI one lender thought remaining, 

Fly to thy clt/sc t, fall upon thy knees, 

And recommend my parting soul to mercy. 

Alic. Oh ! yet before I go for ever from tliee, 
Turn thee in gentleness and pity to me, [_Knceling- 
And in compassion of my strong affliction, 
Say, h it possible can yon forgive 
The fetal rashness of ungovern'd love? 
For, oh! 'ascertain, if I had not lov'd thee 
iJeyond my peace, my reason, fame, and life, 
" Oe^ir'd to death, and doated to detraction," 
This day of horror never should have known us. 
Hast. Oh, rise, and let me hush thy stonnv sor- 
rows. [Raising her,. 
Assuage thy tears for I will chide no more, 
No more upbraid thee, thon unhappy fair one. 
1 see the hand of Heaven is arrn'd against me ; 
And, in mysterious Providence, decrees 
To punish me by thy mistaken hand. 
Most righteous doom! for, oh, while I behold thee, 
Thy wrongs rise up in terrible array, 
And charge thy ruin on me ; thy fair fame, 
Thy, innocence, and youth, 
Dishonour'd, blasted, and betray'd me. 

Alic. And does thy heart relent for my undoing? 
Oh, that inhuman Gloster could be mov'd, 
But half so easily as I can pardon ! 

JJa.fl . Here then exchange we mutually forgiveness. 
So may the guilt of all my broken vows, 
IVly perjuries to thee, he all forgotten, 
As here my soul acquits thee of my death, 
As here I part without one angry thought, 
As here I k-ave thee with the, softest tenderness, 
Mourning the chance of our disastrous loves, 
And begging lleav'n to bless and to support thee. 


Rat. My lord, dispatch ; the duke has sent to chide 

For loitering in my duty 

Hast. 1 obey. 

Alic. Insatiate savage monster ! Is a moment 
So tedious to thy malice ? Oh, repay him, 
Thou great avenger! Give him blood for blood : 
Guilt haunt him! fiends pursue him ! lightnings blast 


" Some horrid, cursed kind of death o'ertake him, 
" Sudden, and in the fulness of his sins !" 
That he may know how terrible it is, 
To want that moment he denies thee now. 

Hast. This rage is all invain, " that tears thy bosom;, 
" Like a poor bird that flutters in its cage, 
" Thou beat'st thyself to death." Retire, 1 beg thee ; 
To see thee thus, thou know'st not how it wound'st 
Thy agonies are added to my own, [me; 

And make the burthen more than I can bear. 
Fare\vell Good angels visit thy afflictions, 
And bring thee peace and comfort from above. 

Alic. Oh ! stab me to the heart, some pitying hand. 
Now strike me dead 

Hast. One thing I had forgot- 
I charge thee by our present common miseries; 
By our past loves, if yet they have a name ; 
By all thy hopes of peace here and hereafter, 
Let not the rancour of thy hate pursue 
The innocence of thy unhappy friend; 
Thou know'st who 'tis I mean: Oh! should'st thou 

wrong her, 

Just Heav'n shall double all thy woes upon thee, 
And make 'em know no end -'Remember this, 
As the last warning of a dying man. 
Farewell, for ever! [The guards carry Hastings off. 

Alic. Forever! Oh, forever! 
Oh, who can bear to be a wretch for ever ! 
My rival, too! His last thoughts hung on her, 
And as he parted, left a blessing for her : 
E 3 


Shall she be blest, and I be curst, for ever? 

JNo; since her fatal beauty was the cause 

Of all my sutPrings, let her share my pains; 

Let her, like me, of ev'ry joy foilorn, 

Devote the hour when such a wretch was born; 

'* Like me, to deserts and to darkness run, 

" Abhor the day, and curse the golden sun;" 

Cast every good, and every hope behind: 

Detest the works of nature, loath mankind ; 

Like me, with cries distracted, fill the air, 

Tear her poor bosom, rend her frantic hair; 

And prove the torments of the last despair. [E,u/. 


The Street. Enter BELMOUR and DUMONT. 

Dumont. You saw her, then? 

Bel. 1 met her, as returning, 
In solemn penance from the public cross. 
Before her, certain rascal officers, 
Slaves in authority, the knaves of justice, 
Proclaim'd the tyrant Gloster's cruel orders. 
" On either side her march'd an ill-look'd priest, 
" Who with severe, with horrid haggard eyes, 
" Did ever and anon, by turns, upbraid her, 
" And thunder in her trembling ear damnation.' 
Around her, numberless, the rabble flow'd, 
Should'ring each other, crowding for a view, 
Gaping and gazing, taunting and reviling ; 
Some pitying but those, alas ! how few ! 
The most, such iron hearts we are, and such 
The base barbarity of human kind, 
With insolence and lewd reproach pursu'd her, 
Hooting and railing, and with villainous hands 
Gathering the filth from out the common ways, 
To hurl upon her head. 

Dum. Inhuman dogs ! 
JIovv did she bear it ? 

Act V. JAKE SHORE. 4i 

Bel. With the gentlest patience ; 
Submissive, sad, and lowly was her look j 
A burning taper in her hand she bore, 
And on her. shoulders carelessly eontWd, 
With loose neglect, her lovely tresses hung: 
Upon her cheek a faintish flush was spread ; 
Feeble she see in 'd, and sorely smit with pain. 
While barefoot as she trod the flinty pavement, 
Her footsteps all along were mark'd with blood, 
Yet, silent still she pass'd and unrepining ; 
Her streaming eyes bent ever on the earth, 
Except when in some bitter pang of sorrow, 
To Heav'n she seem'd in fervent zeal to raise, 
And beg that mercy man deny'd her here. 
Dum. When was this piteous sight? 
Bel. These last two days. 
You know my care was wholly bent on you, 
To find the happy means of your deliverance, 
Which but for Hastings' death I had not gained. 
Durirg that time, altho' 1 have not seen her, 
Yet divers trusty messengers I've sent, 
To wait about, and watch a fit convenience 
To give her some relief, but all in vain ; 
A churlish guard attends upon her steps, 
Who menace those with death, that bring her com* 

fort, . . 

And drive all succour from her. 

Dum. Let 'em threaten; 
Let proud oppression prove its fiercest malice; 
So Heav'n befriend my soul, as here I vow 
To give her help, ana share one fortune with her. 
Bel. Mean you to see her, thus, in your own form ? 
Dum. I do. 

Bel. And have you thought upon the consequence? 
Dum. What is" there I should fear ? 
Bel. Have you examin'd 
Into your inmost iieart, and try'd at leisure 
The sev'ral secret springs that move the passions? 
Has mercy fix'd her empire there so sure, 


That wrath and vengeance never may return ? 
Can you resume a husband's name, and bid 
That wakeful dragon, fierce resentment, sleep? 

" Dum. Why dost thou search so deep, and urge 

" my memory, 

<f To conjure up my wrongs to life again? 
" 1 have long labour'd to forget myself, 
" To think on all time backward, like a space 
" Idle and void, where nothing e'er had being: 
" But thou hast peopled it again : Revenge 
" And jealousy renew their horrid forms, 
" Shoot all their fires, and drive me to distraction. 

" Bel. Far be the thought from me ! My care was 

" only 

" To arm you for the meeting: better were it 
(< Never to see her, than to let that name 
" Recall forgotten rage, and make the husband 
" Destroy the gen'rous pity of Dumont." 

Dum. O thou hast set my busy brain at work, 
And now she musters up a train of images, 
Which, to preserve my peace, I had cast aside, 
And sunk in deep oblivion Oh, that form! 
That angel face on which my dotage hung! 
How I have gaz'd upon her, till my soul 
With very eagerness went forth towards her, 
And issu'd at my eyes Was there a gem 
Which the sun ripens in the Indian mine, 
Or the rich bosom of the ocean yields ; 
What was there art could make or wealth could buy, 
Which I have left unsought to deck her beauty? 
What could her king do more? And yet she fled. 

Bel. Away with that sad fancy 

Dtim. Oh that day! 

The thought of it must live for ever with me. 
I met her, Belmour, when the royal spoiler 
Bore her in triumph from my widow'd home! 
Within his chariot by his side she gat, 
And listen'd to his talk with downward looks, 
Till sudden as she char.c'd aside to glance, 

Act I 7 . JAKE SIIOHE. 43 

Her eyes encounkr'ti mine Oh! (I\ei> iliy frieiu! ! 
Oh ! '\vho can paint my grit-fane! her aniazemefit I 
As. at the stroke of dea-.h, t\vicv lurn'd she pile ; 
A .,i txvice a burning crimson blush'd all o'er h< 
Then, with a shriek, heart- wounding, ioncl she tvv'cl, 
While down licr cheeks two gushing torrents ran 

Fast falling on her hands, which thus she wrung 

Mov'd at her grief the tyraiit ravisher, 

With courteous fiction woo'd her oft to lura ; 

Earnest he st em'd to plead, but all in vain : 

Kv'n to the last she bent her siaht towards rne, 

And ibllovv'd me til! 1 hactlost myself. 

Bel. Alas, for piiy! Oh ! those speaking tears! 
Could they he false? Did she not suffer with you? 
For though the 1; in, '.>; by force posseted her per^n,, 
Her unconsenting heart dwelt still with vou j 
If all her former woes were not enough," 
Look on her now ; behold her where she wanders 
Hunted to death, distress'd on every s'ule, 
With no one hand to help; and tell me then, 
If ever misery were known, like hers? 

^ Dum. Ancl can she bear it? Can that delicate frame 
Endure ihe beating of a storm so rude? 
Can she, for whom the various seasons chang'd 
To court her appetite and crown her board, 
For whom the foreign vintages were press'd, 
For whom the merchant spread his silken stores, 

Can she ^ 

Intreat for bread, and want the needful raiment, 
To wrap her shiv'ring bosom from the weather? 
When she was mine, no care came ever nigh her ; 
I thought the gentlest breeze that wakes the spring, 
Too rough to breathe upon her j cheerfulness 
Danc'd all the day before her, and at night 
Soft slumbers wailed on her downy pillow 
Now sad and shelterless, perhaps she lies, 
Where piercing winds blow sharp, and the chill rain 
Drops from some pent-nouseon her wretched head, 
Drenches her locks,, and kills her with the cold. 

44- JANE SHORE. Act V. 

It is too much' Hence with her past offences, 

They are aton'd at full Why stay we, then ? 

Oh 1 let us haste, my friend, and find her out. 

Bel. Somewhere about this quarter of the town, 
I hear the poor abandon'd creature lingers: 
Her guard, tho' set with strictest watch to keep 
All food and friendship from her, yet permit her 
To wander in the streets, there choose her bed, 
And rest her head on what cold stone she pleases. 

Dum. Here let us then divide ; each in his round 
To search her sorrows out; whose hap it is 
First to behold her, this way let him lead 
Her fainting steps, and meet we here together. 


Enter JANE SHORE, her hair hanging loose on her 
shoulders, and bare-footed. 

J. Sh. Yet, yet endure, nor murmur, oh, my soul ! 
For are not thy transgressions great and numberless; 
Do they not cover thee like rising floods, 
And press thee like a weight of waters down? 
" Does not the hand of righteousness afflict thee? 
" And who shall plead against it ? Who shall say 
<c To power almighty, thou hast done enough ; 
" Or bid his dreadful rod of vengeance stay ?" 
Wait then with patience, till the circling hours 
Shall bring the time of thy appointed rest, 
And lay thee down in death. " The hireling thus 
" With labour drudges out the painful day, 
" And often looks with long expecting eyes 
" To see the shadows rise, and be dismiss'd." 
And hark, rfiethinks the roar that late pursu'd me, 
Sinks like the murmurs of a falling wind, 
And softens into silence. Does revenge 
And malice then grow weary, and forsake me? 
My guard, too, that observ'd me still so close, 
Tire in the task of their inhumam office, 
And loiter far behind. Alas ' 1 faint, 
My spirits fail at once This is the door 
Ol my Alicia Blessed opportunity ! 

Act V. JANE SHORE. 45 

I'll steal a little succour from her goodness, 

Now while no eye observes me. [She knocks at the door. 

Enter a Servant. 
Is your lady, 
My gentle friend, at home ! Oh, bring me to her. 

[Going in. 

Serv. Hold, mistress, whither would you ? 

\_Pulling her lack. 

J. Sh. Do you know me? 

Serv. I know you well, and know my orders, too: 
You must not enter here 

J. S/i. Tell my Alicia, 
'Tis I would see her. 

Serv. She is ill at ease, 
And will admit no visitor. 

J.Sh. But tell her 

'Tis I, her friend, the partner of her heart, 
Wait at the door, and beg 

Serv. 'Tis all in vain, 

Go hence, and howl to those that will regard you. 

[Shuts the door, and exit. 

, J.Sh. It was not always thus ; the time has been, 
"When this unfriendly door, that bars my passage, 
Flew wide, and almost leap'd from oft' its hinges, 
To give me entrance here ; when this good house 
" Has pour'd forth all its dwellers to receive me :" 
When my approaches made a little holiday, 
And every face was dress'd in smiles to meet me : 
But now 'tis otherwise, and those who bless'd me, 
Now curse me to my face. Why should I wander, 
Stray further on, for I can die ev'n here ! 

[She sits down at the door. 

Enter ALICIA in disorder, two Servants following. 

Alic. What wretch art thou, whose misery and 


Hangs on my door; whose hateful whine of woe 
Breaks in upon my sorrows, and distracts 
My jarring senses with thy beggar's cry? 

J Sh. A rery beggar, and a wretch, indeed ; 

46 JAV-- Ait V. 

One driven by strong calamity t;> seek 
For succours here ; one peri.'bing for want, 
Whose hunger has not lasted (bod these three davs ; 
And humbly asks, for charity'.' dear sake, 
A draught of water and a little bread. 

Alic. And dost thou come to me, to me, for bread? 
I know thee not Go hunt for it abroad, 
Where wanton hands upon the earth havescatter'd it, 
Or cast it on the waters Mark the eagle, 
And hungry vulture, where they wind the prey; ' 
Watch where the ravens of the valley feed, 
And seek thy food with them I know thre not. 

J. S/i. And yet there was a time, when my Alicia 
Has thought unhappy Shore her dearest blessing, 
And mourn'd the live-long day she pass'd without 


" When pair'd like turtles, we were still together; 
" When often as we prattled arm in arm," 
Inclining fondly to me she has sworn, 
She lovM rac more tium ail the world besides. 

Ai'ic. Ha! say'st thou ! Let me look upon thee 


: Tis true I know thee n^w A mischief on thee I 
Thou art that fatal fair, thai cursed she, 
That set my brain a madding. Thou hast robb'd me ; 
Thou hast undone me Mtmlcr! Oh, my Hasting- 1 
See his pale bloody head shoots glaring by me. 
" Give me him back again, thou soft deluder, 
tc Thou beauteous witch." 

J. Sh. Alas! I never wrong'd you 

'" Oh! then be good to me; have" pity on me; 
" Thou, never knew'st tiie bitterness of want, 
" And may'st thou never know it. Oh! 
<* Some poor re.inain, the voiding of thy table, 
"" A morsel to support my famish'd soul." 

Alic. A vaunt! and come not near me 

J. Sh. To thy hand 

1 trusted all; gave ray whole store to thee, 
Nor do I ask it back, allow me but 

Act V. JANE SHORE. 47 

The smallest pittance, give me but. to rat, 
Lest 1 fall clown and peiish here before thee. 

Alic. Nay! tell not me! Where is thy king, thy 


And all the smiling cringing train of courtiers, 
That bent the knee before thee? 

J. Sh. Oh ! for mercy ! 

Alic. Mercy! I know it not for I am miserable. 
I'll give thee misery, for here she dwells; 
This is her house, where the sun never dawns, 
The bird of night sits screaming o'er the roof, 
Grim spectres \veep along the horrid gloom, 
And nought is heard but wailings and lamentings. 
Hark ! something cracks above! it shakes, it totters! 
And see the nodding ruin falls to crush me! 
'Tis fall'u, 'tis here ! I felt it on my brain! 

'* 1 Ser. This sight disorders her 

" V Ser. Retire, dear lady 
" And leave this woman." 

Alic. Let her take my counsel : 
Why should'st them be a wretch ? Stab, tear thy 


And rid thyself of this detested being, 
1 wo'not linger long behind thee here. 
A waving flood of bluish fire hangs o'er me ; 
And now 'tis out, and 1 am drown'd in blood. 
Ha ! what art thou! thou horrid headless trunk ? 
It is my Hastings! See he wafts me on ! 
Away! I go, 1 fly! I follow thee ! 
** Bat come not thou with mischief-making beauty 
" To interpose between us, look not on him, 
" Give thy fond arts and thy delusions o'er, 
" For thou shalt never, never part us more. 

\_She runs off, her Servants following. 

J. Sh. Alas! she raves ; her brain, 1 feor x is turn'd. 
In mercy look upon her, gracious Ileav'n, 
JNor visit her for any wrong to me. 
Sure I am near upon my journey's end; 
My head runs round, my eyes begin to fail, 


And dancing shadows swim before my sight. 
I can no more, [Lies down.~] receive me, thou 


Thou common parent, take me to thy bosom, 
And let me rest with thee. 


Bel. Upon the ground ! 
Thy miseries can never lay thee lower, 
Look up, thou poor afflicted one 1 thou mourner, 
Whom none has comforted ! Where are thy friends, 
The dear companions of thy joyful days, 
Whose hearts thy warm prosperity make glad, 
Whose arms were taught to grow like ivy round thee, 
And bind thee to their bosoms ! Thus with thee, 
Thus let us live, and let us die, they said, 
" For sure thou art the sister of our loves, 
" And nothing shall divide us." Now where are 

J. Sh. Ah, Belmour ! where indeed ? They stand 


And view my desolation from afar. 
' When they pass by, they shake their heads in scorn, 
" And cry, behold the harlot and her end!" 
And yet thy goodness turns aside to pity me. 
Alas f there may be danger ; get thee gone; 
Let me not pull a ruin on thy head. 
Leave me to die alone, for 1 am fall'n 
Never to rise, and all relief is vain. 

Bel. Yet raise thy drooping head; for I am come 
To chase away despair. Behold ! where yonder 
That honest man, that faithful, brave Dumont, 
Is hasting to thy aid-- 

J. Sh. Dumonl ! Ha ! where ! 

[Raising herself, and looking about. 
Then Heav'n has heard my prayV : his very name 
Renews the springs of life, and cheers my soul. 
Has he then 'scap'd the snare ? 

Bel. He has ; but see 

He comes unlike to that Dumont you knew, 

Act V. JANE SHORE? 4$ 

For now he wears your better angel's form, 
And comes to visit you with peace and pardon. 

JLnter SHORE. 

J.Sh. Speak, tell roe ! Which is he ? And ho ! 

what would 

This dreadful vision ! See it comes upon me 
It is my husband Ah! \_Shestvoons. 

Sh. She faints ! support her ! 
" Sustain her head, while I infuse this cordial 
* r Into her dying lips from spicy drugs, 
" Rich herbs and flow'rs, the potent juice is drawn ; 
" With wondrous force it strikes the lazy spirits, 
" Drives them around, and wakens life anew." 

Bel. Her weakness could not bear the strong sur- 

But see, she stirs ! And the returning blood 
Faintly begins to blush again, and kindle 
Upon her ashy cheek 

Sh. So gently raise her [Raising her up. 

J. Sh. Ha ! What art thou ? Belmour ! 

Bel. How fare you, lady? 

J. Sh. My heart is thrilled with horror 

Bel. Be of courage 

Your husband lives ! 'tis he, my worthiest friend 

J. Sh. Still art thou there! still dost thou hover 

round me ! 
Oh, save me, Belmour, from his angry shade ! 

Bel. Tis he himself! he lives ! look up 

J.Sh. I dare not! 
Oh ! that my eyes could shut him out for ever 

Sh. Am I so hateful, then, so deadly to thee, 
To blast thy eyes with horror? Since I'm grown 
A burthen to the world, myself, and thee, 
Wou'd 1 had ne'er surviv'd to see thee more. 

J. Sh. Oh, thou most injur'd dost thou live, in- 
deed ? 

Fall then, ye mountains, on my guilty head; 
Hide me, ye rocks, within your secret caverns j 
F 2 

. r )0 JANE SHORE. Act V. 

Cast thy black veil upon my shame, O night! 
And shield me with thy sable wings for e\er. 

Sk. Why dost thou turn away r Why tremble 

thus ? 

Why thus indulge thv foars ? and in despair 
Abandon thv distracted soul to horror? 
Cast every black and guilty thought behind thce,, 
And let 'em never vex thy qYtiet more. 
My arms, my heart, ure open to receive thee, 
To bring thce back to thy forsaken home, 
With tender joy, with fond forgiving love, 
And ail the longings of my first desires. 

" J. S/t. No, arm thy brow with vengeance, and 


" The minister of Heaven's inquiring, justice. 
" Array thyself all terrible for judgment, 
" Wrath in thy eyes, and thunder in thy voice ; 
' Pronounce my sentence, and if yet there be 
" A woe I have" not felt, inflict it on me. 

" Sh. The measure of thy sorrows is complete; 
ec And I arn come to snatch thee from injustice. 
" Tne hand of power no more shall crush thy weak- 

" ness, 
" Nor proud oppression grind thy humble soul. 

" .7. Sh. Art thou not risen by miracle from death? 
" Thy shroud is fall'n from off thee, and the grave 
" Was bid to give thee up, that thou might'st come , 
" The messenger of grace and goodness to me, 
" To seal my peace, and bless me ere I go. 
*' Oh ! let me then fall down beneath thy feet, 
" And weep my gratitude for ever there; 
" Give me your drops, ye soft-descending rains, 
" Give me your streams, ye never ceasing springs, 
" That my sad eyes may still supply my duty, 
" And feed an everlasting flood of sorrow. 

" Sh. Waste not thy feeble spirits 1 have long 
" I?eheld, unknown, thy mourning and repeiiUince ; 
*' Therefore my heart has set aside the pasi, 
" And holds thee white as unoffending innocence : 


" Therefore, in-spite of erne! Gloster's rage, 
" Soon as my friend had broke my prison-doors, 
" 1 flew to thy assistance." Let us haste, 
JNovv while occasion seems to smile upon us, 
Forsake this place of shame, and find a shelter. 

J. Sh. VViiat shall 1 say to you ? But 1 obey 

Sh. Lean on my arm 

J. Sh. Alas! I'm wondrous faint : 
Bin that's not strange, I- have not eat these three 

Sh. Oh, merciless ! " Look here, my love, I've 

" brought thee 
" Some rich conserves 

" J. Sh. How can yon be so good ? 
" Bnt you were ever thus. I well remember 
" With what fond care, what diligence of love, 
" You iavish'd out your wealth to buy me pleasures, 
" Preventing every wish : have you forgot 
" The costly string of pearl you brought me home, 
" And ty'd about my neck ? How could I leave you? 

" Sh. Taste some of this, or this 

" J. Sh. You're strangely alter'd 

" Say, gentle Belmour, is he not ? How pale 
" Your visage is become ! Your eves are hollow j 

" Nay, you are wrinkled too 'Alas, the day 1 

" My wretchedness has cost you many a tear, 
" And many a bitter pang since last we parted. 

" Sh. No more of that Thou talk'st, but do'st 

" not eat. 

" J. Sh. My feeble jaws forget their common office, 
" My tasteless tongue cleaves to the clammy roof, 
" And now a general loathing grows upon me." 
Oh ! I am sick at heart ! 

Sf>. Thou murd'rous sorrow! 
Wo't thou still drink her blood, pursue her still! 
Must sue then die ! Oh, my poor penitent! 
Speak peace to thy sad heart: she hears me not ; v 
Grief masters every sense " help me to hold her." 
r 3 


Enter CATESBY, with a Guard. 

Cat. Seize on 'em both as traitors to the state 

Bel. What means this violence ? 

[Guards lay hold on Shore and Belmour. 

Cat. Have we not found you, 
In scorn of the protector's strict command, 
Assisting this base woman, and abetting 
Her infamy. 

Sh. Infamy on thy head ! 
Thou tool of power, thou pander to authority ! 
1 tell thee, knave, thou know'st of none so virtuous, 
And she that bore thee was an ^thiop to hsr. 

Cat. You'll answer this at full Away with 'em. 

Sh. Is charity grown treason to your court? 
What honest man would live beneath such rulers? 
I am content that we should die together- 

Cat. Convey the men to prison ; but for her, 
Leave her to hunt her fortune as she may. 

J. Sh. I will not part with him for me ! for me! 
Oh! must he die for me! 

[Following him as he is carried off- She falls. 

Sh. Inhuman villains ! [Breaks from the Guards. 

Stand off 3 The agonies of death are on her 

She pulls, she gripes me hard with her cold hand. 

J. Sh. Was this blow wanting to complete my ruin ? 
Oh ! let him go, ye ministers of terror, 
He shall offend no more, for I will die, 
And yield obedience to your cruel master, 
Tarry a little, but a little longer, 
And take my last breath with you. 

Sh. Oh, my love! 

" Why have I liv'd to see this bitter moment, 
*' This grief, by far surpassing all my former?" 
Why dost thou fix thy dying eyes upon me, 
With such an earnest, such a piteous look, 
As if thy heart were full of some sad meaning 
Thou coukl'st not speak ? 

J. Sh. Forgive me ! but forgive me ! 

Sh" Be witness for me, ye celestial host, 

Act V. JANE SHORE. 53 

Such mercy and such pardon as my soul 

Accords to thee, and begs of Heav'n to shew thee ; 

May such befall me at mv latest hour, 

Ami make my portion btess'd or curs'd for ever. 

J. S/t. Then all is well, and I shall sleep in peace-" 

; Tis very dark, and 1 have lost you now 

Was there not something 1 would have bequeath'd 

you ? 

But I have nothing left me to bestow, 
Nothing but oi:e sad sigh. Oh ! mercy, Heav'n ! 


Bel. There flecl the soul, 
And left her load of misery behind. 

Sh. Oh, my heart's treasure ! Is this pale sad visage 
All that remains of thee r " Are these dead eyes 
" The light that chear'd my soul ?" Oh, heavy hour 1 
But I will fix my trembling lips to thine, 
'Till I am cold and senseless quite, as thou art. 

What, must we part then ? will you 

[To the Guards, taking him away. 
Fare thee well [Kissing her. 

Now execute your tyrant's will, and lead me 
To bonds, or death, 'tis equally indifferent. 

Bel. Let those, who view this sad example, know, 
What fate attends the broken marriage-vow ; 
And teach their children, in succeeding times, 
NO common vengeance waits upon these crimes, 
When such severe repentance could not save 
Prom want, from shame, and an untimely grave. 

[Exe unt omnes . 


YE modest matrons all, ye virtuous 

Who lead, with horrid husbands, decent lives ; 

You, who, for all you are in such a taking, 

To see your spouses drinking, gaming, raking, 

Yet make a- conscience still of cuckold-making ; 

What can we say your pardon to obtain ? 

This matter here was proved against poor Jane : 

She never once denyd it ; but in shorty 

Whimpered andcrifd " Sweet sir, I'm sorry f or t." 

'Twus well he met a kind, good-natured soul, 

We are not all so easy to control : 

I fancy one might find in this good town, 

Some woiid ha' told the gentleman his own : 

Have answered smart " To what do you prelend t 

'* Blockhead ? As if 1 must not see a friend : 

" Tell me of hackney coaches Jaunts to M' city 

' Where should 1 buy my china? Faith, I 1 It Jit ye" 

Our wife was of a milder., meeker spirit ; 

You ! lords and masters ! was not that some merit? 

Dont you allow it to be tortuous hearing, 

When we submit thus to your domineering ? 

Well, peace be with her, she did wrong most surely j 

But so do many more who look demurely. 

Nor should our mourning madam weep alone t 

There are more ways of wickedness than one. 

If the reforming stage should fall to shaming 

Ill-nature, pride, hypocrisy, and gaming; 

The poets frequent ly might move compassion, 

And with she-tragedies o'er-run the nation. 

Then judge, the fair offender with good-nature, 

And let your fellow-feeling curb your satire. 

What, if our neighbours have some- little failing, 

Must we needs fall to damning and fu raiting ? 

For her excuse too, be it understood, 

That if the woman was not auite so good, 

Her lover was king, she flesh and blood. 

And since sfc has dearly paid the sinful score, 

,Z?f kind at last and pity poor Jane Shore. 

by R, M'DoiiaM, 
cu ^ilour Court, 


C AT O. 



As performed at the Theatres-Royal^ 

Hfgtilnteti from tTje Prompt TDooftg, 



Ami a Critique, 


The Lines distinguished by inverted Commas are omitted 
in the ReprcsuHation. 


Printed for C. COOKE, Paternoster-Row, 

by K.M'Donald, 13, Green Arbour Couit, and 

soW by all the Booksellers in th 

United KingJQTr. 



With the Tragedy of Goto, Nov. 1714. 

THE Muse that oft, with sacred raptures fr'd, 
Has gen'rous thoughts of liberty inspired, 
And, boldly rising for Britannia's laws, 
Engag'd great Cato in her country's cause, 
On you submissive waits, with hopes assur'd, 
By whom the mighty blessing stands secured, 
And all the glories that our age adorn, 
Are promised to a people yet unborn. 
No longer shall the widow'd land bemoan 
A broken lineage, and a doubtful throne*, 
But boast her royal progeny's increase, 
And count the pledges of her future peace. 
Oh, born to strengthen and to grace our isle ! 
Wliile uou, fair princess, in your offspring smile, 
Supplying charms to the succeeding age, 
Jlach heav'nly daughter's triumphs we presage : 
Already see th' illustri9us youths complain, 
And pity monarchs doom'd to sigh in vain. 
Thou too, the darling of our fond desires, 
Whom Albion, opening wide her arms-, requires. 
With manly valour and attractive air, 
Shall quell the fierce, and captivate the fair. 
Oh, England's younger hope! in whom conspire 
The mother's sweetness and the father's fire; 
For thee, perhaps, cv'n now of kingly race 
Some dawning beauty blooms in ev'ry grace, 
Some Carolina, to Heau'n's dictates true, 
Who, while the scepter'd rivals vainly sue, 
Thy inborn worth with conscious eyes shall see, 
And slight th' imperial diadem for thee. 
Pleas' d with the prospect of successive reigns, 
The tuneful tribe no more in daring strain* 


Shall vindicate, with pious fears opprest, 

Endangered rights and liberty distrest : 

To milder sounds each Muse shall tune the lyre, 

And gratitude, and faith to kings inspire. 

And filial love; lid impious discord cease,- 

And sooth the maddening factions into peace\ 

Or rise ambitious in more lofty lays, 

And teach the nation their new monarch's praise, 

Describe his awful look, and godlike mind, 

And Coesar's power with Cato's virtue join 'd. 

Meanwhile, bright princess, who, with graceful ease, 

And native majesty, art formed to please, 

J3ehold those arts with a propitious eye, 

That suppliant to their great protectress jly ; 

Then shall they triumph, and the British stage 

Improve her manners, and refine her rage, 

More noble characters expose to view, 

And draw her finish'' d heroines from you. 

Nor you the kind indulgence will refuse, 

Skill' din the labours of the deathless Muse: 

The deathless Mu^e, with undimimsh" d rays, 

Through distant times the lovely dame conveys. 

To Gioriana ft Caller's harp was strung; 

The queen still shines, because the poet sung. 

Even all those graces in your frame combind, 

The common fate of mortal charms may find; 

(Content our short-iw'd praises to engage, 

The joy and wonder of a single age) 

Unless some poet in a tasting song 

To late posterity their fame prolong, 

Instruct our sons the radiant form to prize, 

And see your beauty with their father's eyes. 



JOSEPH ADDISON was born on the 1st of May, 

1672, at Milston, (of which his father, Lancelot 
Adclison, was then rector) near Ambrosbury in Wilt- 
shire, and appearing weak and unlikely to live, he 
was christened the same day. After the usual domes- 
tic education, which, from "the character of his father, 
may be reasonably supposed to have given him strong 
impressions of piety, he was committed to the care of 
Mr. Naish at Ambrosbury, and afterwards of Mr. 
Taylor at Salisbury. 

Not to name the school or the masters of men il- 
lustrious for literature, isakind of historical fraud, by 
which honest fame is injuriously diminished : I woulcl 
therefore trace him through the whole process of his 
education. In 1683, in the beginning of his twelfth 
year, his father being made dean of Litchfield, natu- 
rally carried his family to his new residence, and, I be- 
lieve, placed him tor some time, probably not long, 
under Mr. Shaw, then master of the school at Litch- 
field, father of the late Dr. Peter Shaw. Of this inter- 
val his biographers have given no account, and J know 
it only from a story of a barring-out, told me, when I 
was a boy, by Andrew Corbet of Shropshire, who had 
heard it from Mr. Pigot his uncle. 

At the school of the Chartreux, to which he was 
removed either from that of Salisbury or Litchfield, he 
pursued his juvenile studies under the care of Dr. 
Ellis, and contracted that intimacy with Sir Richard 
Steele, which their joint labours have so effectually 

Addison, who knew his own dignity, could not 
always forbear to show it, by playing a little upon his 
admirer; but he was in no danger of retort: his jests 
were endured without resistance or resentment. 

But the sneer of jocularity was not the worst, 
a 3 


Steele, whose imprudence of generosity or vanity of 
profusion kept him always incurably necessitous, upon 
some pressing exigence, in an evil hour, borrowed an 
hundred pounds of his friend, probably without much 
purpose of repayment; but Addison, who seems to 
have had other notions of a hundred pounds, grew 
impatient of delay, and reclaimed his loan by an exe- 
cution. Steele fell with great sensibility the obduracy 
of his creditor j but with emotions of sorrow rather 
than of anger. 

In lG'87 he was entered into Queen's College in 
Oxford, where, in 1()8(), the accidental perusal of 
some Latin verses gained him the patronage of Dr. 
Lancaster, afterwards provost of Queen's College, by 
whose reccommendation he was fleeted into Mag- 
dalen College as a Demy, a term by which that so- 
ciety denominates those" which are elsewhere called 
Scholars; young men, who partake of the founder's 
benefaction, and succeed in their order to vacant fel- 

Here he continued to cultivate poetry and criticism, 
and grew first eminent by his Latin compositions, 
which are entitled to particular praise. He has not 
confined himself to the imitation of any ancient au- 
thor, but has forined his style from the general lan- 
guage, such as a diTTgent perusal of the productions of 
different ages happened to supply. 

His Latin compositions seem to have had much of 
his fondness ; for he collected a second volume of the 
Muses Anglicance, perhaps fo v r a convenient receptacle, 
in which all his Latin pieces are inserted, where his 
Poem oh the Peace has the first place. He afterwards 
presented the collection to tioileau, who, from that 
time, " conceived," says Tickeil, " an opinion of 
" the English genius fo'r poetry." Nothing is belter 
known of Boileau, than that he had an injudicious 
and peevish contempt of modern Latin, and therefore 
his profession of regard was probably the effect of his 
civility rather than approbation. 

* IT'- to'.k the -jpgiee of _M. A. February 14, 1^3'^ 


Three ofbis Latin poems are upon subjects on which 
perhaps he wouhl not have ventured to have written 
in his own language : The Rattle of the Pigmies and 
Cranes; The Barometer; and A Bowling-Green. 
When the matter is low or scanty, a dead language, 
in which nothing is mean hecause'nothing is familiar, 
affords great conveniences; and by the sonorous 
magnificence of Roman syllables, the writer conceals 
penury of thought, and want of novelty, often from 
the reader, and often from himself. 

In his twenty-second year he first shewed his power 
of English poetry, by some verses addressed to Dry- 
den ; and soon afterwards published a translation of 
the greater part of the Fourth Georgic upon Bees ; 
after which, says Dryden, '* my latter swarm is hardly 
" worth the hiving." 

' About the same time he composed the arguments 
prefixed to the several books of Dryden's Virgil; and 
produced an Essay on Ihe Gcorgics, juvenile, superfi- 
cial, and uninstructive, without much either of the 
scholar's learning or the critic's penetration. 

His next paper of verses contained a character of 
the principal English poets, inscribed to Henry Sache- 
verell, who was then, if not a poet, a writer of 
verses; as is shewn by his version of a small part of 
Virgil's Georgics, published in the Miscellanies, and 
a Latin encomium on Queen Mary, in the Musce An- 
glicance. These verses exhibit all the fondness of 
friendship: but, on one side or the other, friendship 
was afterwards too weak for the malignity of faction. 

In this poem is a very confident and discriminative 
character of Spenser, v.hose work he had then never 
read. So little sometimes is criticism the effect of 
judgment. It is necessary to inform the reader, that 
about this time he was introduced by Congreve to 
Montague, then Chancellor of the Exchequer : Ad- 
dison was then learning the trade of a courtier, and 
subjoined Montague as a poetical name to those of 
Cowley and of Dry den 

In 1695 he wrote a poem to King William, with a 


rhyming introduction addressed to Lord Somers. King 
William had no regard to elegance or literature; his 
study was only war ; yet, by a choice of ministers, 
whose disposition was very different from his own, he 
procured, without intention, a very liberal patronage 
to poetry. Addison was caressed both by Somers and 

In 10'97 appeared his Latin verses on the peace of 
Ilyswic, which he dedicated to Montague, and which 
was afterwards called by Smith, " the best Latin poem 
since the TEneid." Praise must not be too rigorously 
examined ; but the performance cannot be denied to 
be vigorous and elegant. 

Having yet no public employment, he obtained (in 
1699) a pension of three hundred pounds a year, that 
he might be enabled to travel. He staid a year at Blois, 
probably to learn the French language; and then pro- 
ceeded in his journey to Italy, which he surveyed with 
the eyes of a poet. 

While he was travelling at leisure, he was far from 
being idle ; for he not only collected his observations 
on the country, but found time to write his Dialogues 
on Medals, and four acts of Cato. Such at least 
is the relation of Tickell. Perhaps he only collected 
his materials, and formed his plan. 

Whatever were his other employments in Italy, he 
there wrote the letter to Lord Halifax, which is justly 
considered as the most elegant, if not the most sub- 
lime, of his poetical productions. But in about two 
years he found it necessary to hasten home ; being, as 
Swift informs us, distressed by indigence, and com- 
pelled to become the tutor of a travelling squire, be- 
cause his pension was not remitted. 

When he returned to England (in 1/02), with a 
meanness of appearance which gave testimony of the 
difficulties to which he had been reduced, he found 
his old patrons out of power, and was therefore for a 
time at full leisure for the cultivation of his mind, and 
a mind so cultivated gives reason to believe that little 
time was lost. 



But lie remained not long neglected or uselesss. The 
victory at Blenheim (1?04) spread triumph and con- 
fidence over the nation ; and Lord Godolphin la- 
menting to Lord Halifax, that it had not been cele- 
brated in a manner equal to the subject, desired him 
to propose it to some better poet. Halifax told him 
that there was no encouragement for genius ; that 
worthless men were unprofitably enriched with pub- 
lic money, without any care to find or employ those 
whose appearance might do honour to their country. 
To this Gotiophin replied, that such abuses should in 
time be rectified j and that if a man could be found 
capable of the task then proposed, he should not want 
an ample Halifax then named Addison ; 
but required that the Treasurer should apply to him in 
his own person. Godolphin sent the message by JVlr. 
Boyle, afterwards Lord Carleton ; and Addison having 
undertaken the work, communicated it to the Trea- 
surer, while it was yet advanced no farther than the 
simile of the Angel, and was immediately rewarded 
by succeeding JVJr. Locke in the place of Commisioner 
of Appeals. 

In the following year he was at Hanover with Lord 
Halifax; and the year after was made under-secretary 
of state, first to Sir Charles Hedges, and in a few 
months more to the Earl of Sunderland. 

About this time the prevalent taste for Italian operas 
inclined him to try what would be the effect of a mu- 
sical drama in our own language. He therefore wrote 
the opera of Rosamond, which, when exhibited on 
the stage was either hissed or neglected; but trusting 
that the readers would do him more justice, he pub- 
lished it, with an inscription to the Duchess of Marl- 
borough; a woman without skill, or pretensions to 
skill, in poetry or literature. His dedication was 
therefore an instance of servile absurdity, to be ex- 
ceeded only by Joshua Barnes's dedication of a Greek 
Anacreon to the Duke. 

His reputation had been somewhat advanced by 
the Tender Husband) a comedy which Steele dedicated 


to him, with a confession that he owed to him several 
of the most successful scenes. To this play Addisoii 
supplied a prologue. 

When the Marquis of Wharton was appointed 
lord lieutenant of Ireland, Addison attended him as 
his secretary ; and was made keeper of the records in 
Birmingham's Tower, with a salary of three hundred 
pounds a year. The office was little more than 
nominal, and the salary was augmented for his ac- 

He was in Ireland when Steele, without any com- 
munication of his design, began the publication of 
the Taller ; but he was not long concealed : by in- 
serting a remark on Virgil, which Addison had given 
him, he discovered himself. It is indeed not easy for 
any man to write upon literature, or common life, so 
as not to make himself known to those with whom 
he familiarly converses, and who are acquainted with 
his track of study, his favourite topics, his peculiar 
notions, and his habitual phrases. 

If Steele desired to write in secret, he was not 
lucky ; a single month detected him. His first Tal- 
ler was published April 22 (1709), and Addison's 
contribution appeared May 26. Tickell observes, 
that the Taller began and was concluded without his 
concurrence. This is doubtless literally true ; but 
the work did not suffer much by his unconsciousness 
of its commencement, or his absence at its cessation ; 
for he continued his assistance to December 23, and 
the paper stopped on January 2. He did not distin- 
guish his pieces by any signature; and 1 know not 
whether his name was "not kept secret, till the papers 
were collected into volumes. 

To the Taller, in about two months, succeeded the 
Spectator; a series of essays of the same kind, 
but written with less levity, upon a more regular plan, 
arid published daily. Such an undertaking shewed 
the writers not to distrust their own copiousness of 
materials, or facility of composition ; and their per- 
formance justifie'd their confidence. They found, 


however, in their progress, many auxiliaries. To 
attempt a single paper was no terrifying labour : many 
pieces were ottered, and many were received. 

Addison had enough of the zeal of party, but 
Steele had at that time almost nothing else. The 
Spectator, in one of the first papers, shewed the po- 
litical tenets of its authors; but a resolution was 
soon taken, of courting general approbation by gene- 
ral topics, and subjects on which faction had pro- 
duced no diversity of sentiments ; such as literature, 
morality, and familiar life. To this practice they 
adhered with very few deviations. The ardour of 
Steele once broke out in praise of Marlborough ; and 
when Dr. Fleetwood prefixed to some sermons a pre- 
face, overflowing with Whiggish opinions, that it 
might be read by the queen, it was reprinted in the 

To teach the minuter decencies and inferior duties, 
to regulate the practice of daily conversation, to cor- 
rect those depravities which are rather ridiculous 
than criminal, and remove those grievances which, if 
they produce no lasting calamities, impress hourly 
vexation, was first attempted by Casa in his book of 
Manners, and Castiglione in his Courtier, two books 
yet celebrated in Italy for purity and elegance, and 
which, if they are now less read, are neglected only 
because they have effected that reformation which 
their authors intended, and their precepts now are no 
longer wanted. Their usefulness to the age in which- 
they were written, is sufficiently attested by the trans- 
lations which almost all the nations of Europe were 
in haste to obtain. 

This species of instruction was continued, and per- 
haps advanced, by the French ; among whom La 
Bruyere's Manners of the Age, though as Boileau re- 
marked, it is written without connexion, certainly 
deserves great praise, for liveliness of description and 
justness of observation. 

Before the Taller and Spectator, if the writers for 
the theatre are excepted, England had no masters 


of common life. No writers had yet undertaken to 
reform either the savageness of neglect, or the im- 
pertinence of civility ; to shew when to speak, or to 
he silent; how to refuse, or how to comply. We 
had many books to teach us our more important 
duties, and to settle opinions in philosophy or 
politics; hut an Arbiter clegantiarum, a judge of 
propriety, was yet wanting, who should survey the 
track of daily conversation, and free it from thorns 
and prickles, which teaze the passer, though they do 
not wound him. 

For this purpose nothing is so proper as the fre- 
quent publication of short papers, which we read not 
as study but amusement. If the subject be slight, the 
treatise likewise is short. The busy may fin<J time, 
and the idle may find patience. 

This mode of conveying cheap and easy knowledge 
began among us in the Civil War, when it was 
much the interest of either party to raise and fix the 
prejudices of the people. At that time appeared Mer- 
curius Aulicus, Met curias Rusticus, and Mercurius 
Civicus. It is said, that when any title grew popular, 
it was stolen by the antagonist, who by this stratagem 
conveyed his notions to those who would not have 
received him had he not worn the appearance of a 
friend. The tumult of those unhappy days left scarcely 
any man leisure to treasure up occasional composi- 
tions ; and so much were they neglected, that a com- 
plete collection is no where to be found. 

These Mercuries were succeeded by L'Estrange'f 
Obscrvafor, and that by Lesley's Rehearsal, and per- 
haps by others ; but hitherto nothing had been con- 
veyed to the people, in this commodious manner, but 
controversy relating to the church or state ; of whici'j 
they taught many to talk, whom they could not teach 
to judge. 

It has been suggested that the Royal Society was 
instituted soon afier the Restoration, ta divert the 
attention of the people from public discontent. The 
Tafler and Spectator had the same tendency ; they 


were published at a time when two parties, loud, 
restless, and violent, each with plausible declarations, 
and each perhaps without any distinct termination of 
its views, were agitating the nation; to minds heated 
with political contest, they supplied cooler and more 
inoffensive reflections; and it is said by Addison, in 
a subsequent work, that they had a perceptible in- 
fluence upon the conversation of that time, and 
taught the frolic and the gay to unite merriment with 
decency; an effect which they can never wholly lose, 
while they continue to be among the first books by 
which both sexes are initiated in the elegances of 

The 7 atler and Spectator adjusted, likeCasa, the 
unsettled practice of daily intercourse by propriety 
and politeness; rind, like La Bruyere, exhibited the 
Characters and Manners of the Age. The personages 
introduced in these papers were not merely ideal; 
they were then known, and conspicuous in various 
stations. Of the Tatler this is told by Steele in his 
last paper, and of the Spectator by Budgell in the 
Preface to Theophrastus: a book which Addison has 
reccommendcd, and which he was suspected to havt: 
revised, if he did not write it. Of those portraits, 
which may be supposed to be sometimes embellished, 
and sometimes aggravated, the originals are now 
partly known, and partly forgotten. 

But to say that they united the plans of two or 
three eminent writers, is to give them but a small 
part of their due praise; they super-added literature 
and criticism, and sometimes towered far above their 
predecessors; and taught, with great justness of ar- 
gument and dignity of language, the most important 
duties and sublime, truths. 

^11 these topics were happily varied with elegant 
fictions and refined allegories, and illuminated with 
different changes of style and felicities of invention. 

Of essays thus elegant, thus instructive, and thus 
commodiously distributed, it is natural to suppose the 
approbation general, and the sale numerous. I OECP 


heard it observed, that the sale may be calculated by 
the product of the tax, related in the last number to 
produce more than twenty pounds a week, and 
therefore stated at one and twenty pounds, or three 
pounds ten shillings a day : this, at a half-penny a pa- 
per, will give sixteen hundred and eighty for the daily 

This sale is not great ; yet this, if Swift be cre- 
dited, was likely to grow less; for he declares that 
the. Spectator, whom he ridicules for his endless men- 
tion of the fair sex, had before his recess wearied his 

The next year (1713), in which Cato came upon 
the stage, was the grand climacteric of Addison's re- 
putation. Upon the death of Cato, he had, as is said, 
planned a tragedy in the time of his travels, and had 
for several years the four first acts finished, which 
were shewn to such as were likely to spread their ad- 
miration. They were seen by Pope and by Gibber : 
who relates that Steele when he took back the copy; 
told him, in the despicable cant of literary modesty, 
that, whatever spirit his friend had shewn in tne 
composition, he doubted whether he would have 
courage sufficient to expose it to the censure of a 
British audience, 

The time however was now come, when those who 
affected to think liberty in danger, affected likewise 
to think that a stage-play might preserve it : and Ad- 
dison was importuned, in the name of the tutelary- 
deities of Britain, to shew his courage and his zeal by 
finishing his design. 

To resume his work he seemed perversely and un- 
accountably willing; and by a request, which per- 
haps he wished to be denied, desired Mr. Hughes to 
add a fifth act. Hughes supposed him serious; and, 
undertaking the supplement, brought in a few days 
some scenes for his examination ; but he had in the 
mean time gone to work himself, and produced half 
an act, which he afterwards completed, but with bre- 
vity irregularly disproportionate to the foregoing 


parts; like a task performed with reluctance, and 
hurried to its conclusion. 

It may yet be doubted whether Cuto was made 
public by any change of the author's purpose; for 
Dennis charged him with raising prejudices in his 
own favour by false positions of preparatory criticism, 
and with poisoning the town by contradicting in the 
Spectator the established rule of poetical justice, be- 
cause his own hero, with all his virtues, was to fall 
before a tyrant. The fact is certain j the motives we 
must guess. 

Addison was, 1 believe, sufficiently disposed to bar 
all avenues against all danger. When Pope brought 
him the prologue which is properly accommodated 
to the play, there were these words, Britons arise, le 
worth like this approved; meaning nothing more than, 
Britons, erect and exalt yourselves to the approbation 
of public virtue. Addison was frighted lest he should 
be thought a promoter of insurrection, and the line 
was liquidated to Britons, attend. 

Now, heavily in clouds, came on the day, the great, 
the important day, when Addison was to stand the 
hazard of the theatre. That there might, however, 
be left as little to hazard as was possible, on the first 
night Steele, as himself relates, undertook to pack an 
audience. This, says Pope, had been tried for the 
first time in favour of the Distrest Mother ; and was 
now, with more efficacy, practised for Cato. 

The danger was soon over. The whole nation 
was at that time on fire with faction. The Whigs 
applauded every line in which liberty was mentioned, 
as a satire on the Tories ; and the Tories echoed every 
clap, to shew that the satire was unfelt. The story 
of Bolingbroke is well known. He called Booth to 
his box, and gave him fifty guineas for defending 
the cause of liberty so well against a perpetual dic- 
tator. The Whigs, says Pope, design a second pre- 
sent, when they can accompany it with as good a 

The play, supported thus by the emulation of fac- 
b 2 



tious praise, was acted night after night for a longer 
time than, I believe, the public had allowed to any 
draina before; and the author, as Mrs. Porter long 
afterwards related, wandered through the whole ex- 
hibition behind the scenes with restless and unap- 
peasable solicitude. 

When it was printed, notice was given that the 
Queen would be pleased, if it was dedicated to her; 
' but as he had designed that compliment elsewhere, 
' he found himself obliged," says Tickell, " by his 
' duty on the one hand, and his honour on the 
' other, to send it into the world without any dedi- 
( cation." 

Human happiness has always its abatements ; the 
brightest sun-shine of success is not without a cloud. 
No sooner was Gato ottered to the reader, than it was 
attacked by the acute malignity of Dennis, with all 
the violence of angry criticism. Dennis, though 
equally zealous, and probably by his temper more 
furious than Addison, for what they called liberty, 
and though a flatterer of the Whig ministry, could 
not sit quiet at a successful play; but was eager to tell 
friends and enemies, that they had misplaced their 
admirations. The world was too stubborn for in- 
struction ; with the fate of the censurer of Corneille's 
Cid, his animadversions shewed his anger without 
effect, and Cato continued to be praised. 

Pope had now an opportunity of courting the 
friendship of Addison, by vilifying his old enemy, 
and could give resentment its full play without ap- 
pearing to revenge himself. He therefore published 
A Narrative of the Madness of John Dennis; a per- 
formance which left the objections to the play in their 
full force, and therefore discovered more desire of vex- 
ing the critic than of defending the poet. 

Addison, who was no stranger to the world, pro- 
bably saw the selfishness of Pope's friendship ; and, 
resolving that he should have the consequences of his 
officiousness to himself, informed Dennis, by Steele, 
that he was sorry for the insult ; and that whenever 


he should think fit to answer his remarks, he would do 
it in a manner to which nothing could be objected. 

The greatest weakness of the play is in the scenes 
of love, which are said by Pope to have been added 
to the original plan upon a subsequent review, in 
compliance with the popular practice of the stage. 
Such an authority it is hard to reject ; yet the love is 
so intimately mingled with the whole action, that it 
cannot easily be thought extrinsic and adventitious; 
for if it were taken away, what would be left ? or 
how were the four acts filled in the first draught ? 

At the publication, the wits seemed proud to pay 
their attendance with encomiastic verses. The best 
are from an unknown hand, which will perhaps lose 
somewhat of their praise when the author is known 
to be Jeffreys. 

Cato had yet other honours. It was censured as a 
party-play by a Scholar of Oxford, and defended in a 
favourable examination by Dr. Sewel. It was trans- 
lated by Salvini into Italian, and acted at Florence; 
and by the Jesuits of St. Otner's into Latin, and 
played by their pupils. Of this version a copy was 
sent to Mr. Addison : it is to be wished that it could 
be found, for the sake of comparing the version of 
the soliloquy with that of Bland. 

A tragedy was written on the same subject b) Des 
Champs, a French poet, which was translated, with 
a criticism on the English play. But the translator 
and the critic are now forgotten. 

Dennis lived on unanswered, and therefore little 
read: Addison knew the policy of literature too well 
to rwake his enemy important, by drawing the atten- 
tion of the public upon a criticism, which, though 
sometimes intemperate, was often irrefragable. 

While Cato was upon the stage, another daily 
paper, called The Guardian, was published by 
Steele. To this Addison gave great assistance, 
whether occasionally, or by previous engagement, 
is not known. 

The character of Guardian was too narrow and 
b 3 


*oo serious : it might properly enough admit both 
the duties and the decencies of life, but seemed not 
to include literary speculations, and was in some de- 
gree violated by merriment and burlesque. What 
had the Guardian of the Lizards to do with clubs of 
tall or little men, with nests of ants, or with Sira- 
da's Prolusions ? 

Of this paper nothing is necessary to be said, but 
that it found many contributors, and that it was a 
continuation of the Spectator, with the same ele- 
gance, and the same variety, till some unlucky sparkle. 
from a Tory paper set Steele's politics on fire, and 
wit at once blazod into faction. He was soon too hot 
for neutral topics, and quitted the Guardian to write 
the Englishman. 

The papers of Addison are marked in the Spectator 
by one of the letters in the name of CLIO, and in the 
Guardian by A HAND ; whether ii was, as Tickell 
pretends to think, that he was unwilling to usurp the 
praise of others, orasSteele, with lar greater likeli- 
hood, insinuates, that he could not without discon- 
tent impart to others any of his own. 1 have heard 
that his avidity did pot satisfy itself with the air of 
renown, but that with great eagerness he laid hold 
on his proportion of the profits. 

Many of these papers were written with powers 
truly comic, with nice discrimination of characters, 
and accurate observation of natural or accidental de- 
viations from propriety j but it was not supposed that 
he had tried a comedy on the stage, till Steele, after 
his death, declared him the author of the Drummer : 
this however Steele did not know to be true by any 
direct testimony ; for when Addison put the play 
into his hands, he only told him, it was the work of a 
Gentleman in the Company ; and when it was received, 
as is confessed with cold disapprobation, he was pro- 
bably less willing to claim it. Tickell omitted it in 
his collection; but the testimony of Steele, and the 
total silence of any other claimant, has determined 
the public to assign it to Addison, and it is now 


printed with his other poetry. Steele carried the 
Drummer to the play-house, and afterwards to the 
press, and sold the copy for fifty guineas. 

To the opinion of Steele may be added the proof 
supplied by the play itself, of which the characters 
are such as Addison would have delineated, and the 
tendency such as Addison would have promoted. 
That if should have been ill-received would raise 
wonder, did we not daily see the capricious distribu- 
tion of theatrical praise. 

He was not all this time an indifferent spectator 
of public affairs. He wrote, as different exigences 
required, (in 170?) The present State of the }Var y 
and the Necessity of an Augmentation ; which, how- 
ever judicious, being written on temporary topics, and 
exhibiting no peculiar powers, has naturally sunk by 
its own weight into neglect. This cannot be said of 
the few papers intitled The Whig Examiner, in which 
is exhibited all the force of gay malevolence and hu- 
morous satire. Of this paper, which just appeared 
and expired, Swift remarks, with great exultation, 
that " it is now down among the dead men." He 
might well rejoice at the death of that which he could 
not have killed. Every reader of every party, since 
personal malice is past, and the papers which once 
inflamed the nation are read only as eHusions of wit, 
must wish for more of the IVhig Exam%nefs\ for on 
no occasion was the genius of Addison more vigo- 
rously exerted, and on-none did the superiority of his 
wit more evidently appear. His Trial of Count 
Tariff, written to expose the treaty of commerce with 
France, lived no longer than the question that pro- 
duced it. 

Not long afterwards an attempt was made to revive 
the Spectator, at a time indeed by no means favour- 
able to literature, when the succession of a new family 
to the throne filled the nation with anxiety, discorcf, 
and confusion ; and either the turbulence of the times 
or the satiety of the readers put a stop to the publi- 
cation, after an experiment of eighty numbers, which 


were afterwards collected into an eighth volume, t 
haps more valuable than any one of those that went 
before it : Addison produced more than a fourth part, 
and the other contributors are by no means unworthy 
of appearing as his associates. The time that had 
passed during the suspension of i\\t Spectator, though 
it had not lessened his power of humour, seems to 
have increased his disposition to seriousness : the pro- 
portion of his religious to his comic papers is greater 
than in the former series. 

The Spectator, from its re-commencement, was 
published only three times a week, and no discrimi- 
native marks were added to the papers. To Addison 
Tickell has ascribed twenty-three*. 

The Spectator had many contributors ; and Steele, 
whose negligence kept him always in a hurry, when 
it was his turn to furnish a paper, called loudly for 
the letters, of which Addison, whose materials were 
more, made little use ; having recourse to sketches 
and hints, the product of his former studies, which 
he now reviewed and completed : among these are 
named by Tickell the Essays on Wit, those on the 
Pleasures of the Imagination, and the Criticism on 

When the House of Hanover took possession of the 
throne, it was reasonable to expect that the zeal of 
Addison would be suitably rewarded. Before the ar- 
rival of king George he was made secretary to the re- 
gency, and was required by his office to send notice 
to Hanover that the Queen was dead, and that the 
throne was vacant. To do this would not have been 
difficult to any man but Addison, who was so over- 
whelmed with the greatness of the event, and so dis- 
tracted by choice of expression, that the lords, who 
could not wait for the niceties of criticism, called 
Mr. Southwell, a clerk in the house, and ordered 
him to dispatch the message. Southwell readily told 
what was necessary, in the common style of business, 

* Nos. 556, 557, 558, 559, 561, 562, 565, 567, 568, 569, 571* 
574, 575, 579, 580, 56C, 583, 584, 585, 5QO, 592, 598, 600. 



and valued himself upon having done what was too 
hard for Addison. 

. Me was better qualified for the Freeholder, a paper 
which he published twice a week, from Dec. 23, 
1715, to the middle of the next year. This was un- 
dertaken in defence of the established government, 
sometimes with argument, sometimes with mirth. 
In argument he had many equals; but his humour 
was singular and matchless. Bigotry itself must be 
delighted with the Tory Fox-hunter. 

There are, however, some strokes less elegant, and 
less decent ; such as the Pretender's Journal, in which 
one topic of ridicule is his poverty. This mode of 
abuse had been employed by Milton against King 
Charles II. 

' Jacoboei 

" Centum exulantis viscera Marsitpii regis." 
And Oldmixon delights to tell of some alderman of 
London, that he had more money than the exiled 
princes; but that which might be expected from 
Milton's savageness, or Oldmixon's meanness, was 
not suitable to the delicacy of Addison. 

Steele thought the humour of the Freeholder too 
nice and gentle for such noisy times; and is reported" 
to have said, that the ministry made use of a lute, 
when they should have called for a trumpet. 

This year (1?1(J) he married the countess dowager 
of Warwick, whom he had solicited by a verv long 
and anxious courtship, perhaps with behaviour not 
very unlike that of Sir Roger to his disdainful widow ; 
and who, I am afraid, diverted herself often by play- 
ing with his passion. He is said to have first known 
her by becoming tutor to her son. " He formed," 
said Tonson, " the design of getting that lady, from 
" the time when he was first recommended into the 
" family." In what part of his life he obtained the 
recommendation, or how long, and in what manner 
he lived in the family, 1 know not. His advances 
at first were, certainly timorous, but grew bolder as 
his reputation and influence increased ; till at last the 


lady was persuaded to marry him, on terms much 
like those on which a Turkish princess is espoused, 
to whom the Sultan is reported to pronounce, 
" Daughter, I give thee this man for thy slave." 
The marriage, if uncontradicted report can be cre- 
dited, made no addition to his happiness ; it neither 
found them nor made them equal. She always re- 
membered her own rank, and thought herself entitled 
to treat with very little ceremony the tutor of her son. 
Howe's ballad of the Despairing Shepherd is said to 
have been written, either before or after marriage, 
upon this memorable pair ; and it is certain that Ad- 
dison has left behind him no encouragement for am- 
bitious love. 

The year after (l?!?), he rose to his highest eleva- 
tion, being made secretary of state. For this employ- 
ment he might be justly supposed qualified by long 
practice of business, and by his regular ascent through 
other offices : but expectation is often disappointed ; 
it is universally confessed that he was unequal to the 
duties of his place. In the House of Commons he 
could not speak, and therefore was useless to the de- 
fence of the government. In the office, says Pope, 
he could not issue an order without losing his time 
in quest of fine expressions. What he gained in 
rank, he lost in credit; and, finding by experience 
his own inability, was forced to solicit his dismission, 
with a pension of fifteen hundred pounds a year. His 
friends palliated this relinquishment, of which both 
friends and enemies knew the true reason, with an 
account of declining health, and the necessity of 
recess and quiet. 

He now returned to his vocation, and began to plan 
literary occupations for his future life. He purposed 
a tragedy on the death of Socrates; a story of which, 
as Tickell remarks, the basis is narrow, and to which 
I know not how love could have been appended. 
There would however have been no want either of 
virtue in the sentiments, or elegance in the language. 
He engaged in a nobler work, a defence of the 


Christian Religion, of which part was published after 
his death ; and he designed to have made a new 
poetical version of the Psalms. 

These pious compositions Pope imputed to a selfish 
motive, upon the credit, as he owns, of Tonson} 
who having quarrelled with Addison, and not loving 
him, said, that when he laid down the secretary's of- 
fice, he intended to take orders, and obtain a bishop- 
ric ; " for," said he, *' I always thought him a priest 
" in his heart." 

That Pope should have thought this conjecture of 
Tonson worth remembrance is a proof, but indeed 
so far as I have found, the only proof, that he re- 
tained some malignity from their ancient rivalry. 
Tonson pretended but to guess it ; no other mortal 
ever suspected it ; and Pope might have reflected, 
that a man who had been secretary of state, in the 
ministry of Sunderland, knew a nearer way to a 
bishopric than by defending religion, or translating 
the Psalms. 

It is related that he had once a design to make an 
English Dictionary, and that he considered Dr. Til- 
lotson as the writer of highest authority. There was 
formerly sent to me by Mr. Locker, clerk of the 
Leather-sellers Company, who was eminent for cu- 
riosity and literature, a collection of examples selected 
from Tillotson's works, as Locker said, by Addison, 
It came too late to be of use, so I inspected it but 
slightly, and remember it indistinctly. 1 thought th 
passages too short. 

Addison, however, did not conclude his life in 
peaceful studies ; but relapsed, when he was near his 
end, to a political question. 

It so happened that (1718-19) a controversy was 
agitated, with great vehemence, between those friends 
of long continuance, Addison and Steele. It may be 
asked, in the language of Homer, what power or 
what cause could set them at variance. The subject 
of their dispute was of great importance. The Earl 


of Sunderland proposed an act called the Peerage 
Bill, by which the number of peers should be fixed, 
and the king restrained from any new creation of no- 
bility,, unless when an old family should be extinct. 
To this the lords would naturally agree ; and the 
king, who was yet little acquainted with his own 
prerogative, and, as is now w r ell-known, almost in- 
different to the possessions of the crown, had been 
persuaded to consent. The only difficulty was found 
among the Commons, who were not likely to approve 
the perpetual exclusion of themselves and their pos- 
terity. The bill therefore was eagerly opposed, and 
among others by Sir Robert Walpole, whose speech 
was published. 

The lords might think their dignity diminished by 
improper advancements, and particularly by the intro- 
duction of twelve new peers at once, to produce a ma- 
jority of Tories in the last reign ; an act of authority 
violent enough, yet certainly legal, and by no means 
to be compared with that contempt of national right, 
with which some time afterwards, by the instigation 
of Whiggism, the commons, chosen by the people 
for three years, chose themselves for seven. But, 
.whatever might be the disposition of the lords, the 
people had no wish to increase their power. The 
tendency of the bill, as Steele observed in a letter to 
the Earl of Oxford, was to introduce an aristocracy ; 
for a majority in the House of Lords, so limited, 
would have been despotic and irresistible. 

To prevent this subversion of the ancient establish- 
ment, Steele, whose pen readily seconded his political 
passions, endeavoured to alarm the nation by a pamph- 
let called the Plebeian ; to this an answer was pub- 
lished by Addison under the title of the Old fFhig, 
in which it is not discovered that Steele was known 
to be the advocate for the commons. Steele replied 
by a second Plebeian ; and, whether by ignorance or 
by courtesy, confined himself to his question, with- 
out, any personal notice of his opponent. Nothing 


hitherto was committed against the laws of friend- 
ship, or proprieties of decency ; but controvertists 
cannot long retain their kindness for each other. The 
Old Whig answered the Pleleian, and could not for- 
bear some contempt of little Dicky, whose trade it 
was to write pamphlets. Dicky however did not lose 
his settled veneration for his friend ; but contented 
himself with quoting some lines of Cato, which were 
at once detection and reproof. The bill was laid aside 
during that session, and Addison died before the next, 
in which its commitment was rejected by two hun- 
dred sixty-five to one hundred seventy-seven. 

Every 'reader surely must regret that these two illus- 
trious friends, after so many years past in confidence 
and endearment, in unity of interest, conformity of 
opinion, and fellowship of study, should finally part 
in acrimonious opposition. Such a controversy was 
bellum plusquam civile, as Lucan expresses it. Why 
could not faction find other advocate;.? But, among 
the uncertainties of the human state, we are doomed 
to ninaber the instability of friendship. 

Of thi^ dispute I have little knowledge but from 
the Bio grap hia Britannica. The Old Whig is not 
inserted in Addison's works, nor is it mentioned by 
Tickell in his Life; why it was omitted, the biogra- 
phers doubtless give the true reason ; the fact was too 
recent, and those who had been heated in the conten- 
tion were not yet cool. 

The necessity of complying with times, and of 
sparing persons, is the great impediment of biography. 
History may be formed from permanent monuments 
and records ; bi. Lives can only be written from per- 
sonal knowledge, which is growing every day less, and 
in a shrot time is lost tor ever. What "is known can 
seldom be immediately told; and when it might be 
told, it is no longer known. The delicate features of- 
the mind, the nice discriminations of character, and 
the minute peculiarities of conduct, are soon oblite- 
rated ; and it is surely better that caprice, obstinacy, 
frolic, and folly, however they might delight in the 


description, should be silently forgotten, than that, 
by wanton merriment and unseasonable detection, a 
pang should be given to a widow, a daughter, a bro- 
ther, or a friend. 

The end of this useful life was now approaching. 
Addison had for some time been oppressed by short- 
ness of breath, which was now aggravated by a 
dropsy ; and finding his danger pressing, he prepared 
to die conformably to his own precepts and pro- 

During this lingering decay, he sent, as Pope relates, 
a message by the Earl of Warwick to Mr. Gay, desir- 
ing to see him : Gay, who had not visited him for some 
time before, obeyed the summons, and found himself 
received with great kindness. The purpose for which 
the interview had been solicited was then discovered : 
Addison told him, that he had injured him; but that, 
if he recovered, he would recompense him. What 
the injury was he did not explain, nor did Gay ever 
know ; but supposed that some preferment designed 
for him had by Addison's intervention been withheld. 
Lord Warwick was a young man of very irregular 
life, and perhaps of loose opinions. Addison, for 
whom he did not want respect, -had very diligently 
endeavoured to reclaim him ; but his arguments and 
expostulations had no eiect: one experiment, how- 
ever, remained to be tried. When he found his 
life near its end, he directed the young lord to be 
called ; and when he desired, with great tenderness, 
to hear his last injunctions, told him, 1 have sent for 
you that you might see how a Christian can die. What 
effect this awful scene had on the earl I know not ; 
he died himself in a short time. 

In Tickell's excellent Elegy on his friend are these 

" He taught us how to live; and, oh! too high 
" The price of knowledge, taught us how to die." 
In which he alludes to this moving interview, as he 
told Dr. Young, to whom he related it. 

Having given directions toMr.Tickell for the pub- 


Jicaticm of his works, and dedicated them on his 
death-bed to his friend Mr. Cra<?gs, he died June 17, 
1719, at Holland-house, leaving no child but a 

Of his virtue it is a sufficient testimony, that the 
resentment of party has transmitted no charge of any 
crime. He was not one of those who are praised 
onlv after death ; for his merit was so generally ac- 
knowledged, that Swift, having observed that his 
election passed without a contest, adds, that if he had 
proposed himself for king, he would hardly have been 
refused. His zeal for his party did not extinguish 
his kindness for the merit of his opponents : when 
he was secretary in Ireland, he refused to intermit 
his acquaintance with Swift. 

Of bis habits, or external manners, nothing is so 
often mentioned as that timorous or sullen taciturnity, 
which his friends called modesty by too mild a name. 
Steele mentions with great tenderness, " that remark- 
able bashfulness, which is a cloak that hides and 
muffles merit," and telis us, that " his abilities 
were covered only by modesty, which doubles the 
beauties which are seen, and gives credit and 
esteem to all that are concealed." Chesterfield 
affirms, that " Addison was the most timorous and 
" awkward man that he ever saw." And Addison, 
speaking of his own deficience in conversation, used 
to say of himself, that, with respect to intellectual 
wealth, " he could draw bills for a thousand pounds, 
*' though he had not a guinea in his pocket." 

That he wanted current coin for ready payment, 
?nd by that want was often obstructed and distressed ; 
that he was oppressed by an improper and ungraceful 
timidity, every testimony concurs to prove; but Ches- 
terfield's representation is doubtless hyperbolical. 
That man cunnot be supposed very unexpert in the 
arts of conversation and practice of life, who, with- 
out fortune or alliance, by his usefulness and dexte- 
ity, became secretary of state; and who died at forty- 
reven, after having not only stood long in the highest 
c 2 


rank of wit and literature, but filled one of the most 
important offices of state. 

The time in which he lived had reason to lament 
his obstinacy of silence; " for he was," says Steele, 
" above all men in that talent called humour, and 
*' enjoyed it in such perfection, that I have often re- 
" fleeted, after a night spent with him apart from all 
" ti,e world, that I had had the pleasure of conversing 
<f with an imimate acquaintance of Terence and 
" Catullus, who had all their wit and nature, 
" heightened with humour more exquisite and de- 
" lightfnl than any other man ever possessed." This 
is the fondness of a friend ; let us hear what is told 
us by a rival. " Addison's conversation," says Pope, 
" had something in it more charming than I have 
" found in any other man. But this was only when 
" familiar : before strangers, or perhaps a single 
" stranger, he preserved his dignity by a stiff si- 
ft lence." 

This modesty was by no means inconsistent \\ith 
a very high opinion of his own merit. He demanded 
to be the first name in modern wit ; and, with Steele 
to echo him, used to depreciate Dryden, whom Pope 
and Congreve defended against them. There is no 
reason to doubt that he suffered too much pain from 
the prevalence of Pope's poetical reputation ; nor is 
it without strong reason suspected, that by some dis- 
ingenuous acts he endeavoured to obstruct it : Pope 
was not the only man whom he insidiously injured, 
though the only man of whom he could be afraid. 

His own powers were such as might have satisfied 
him with conscious excellence. Of very extensive 
learning he lias indeed given no proofs. He seems to 
have had small acquaintance with the sciences, and 
to have read little except Latin and French; but of 
the Latin poets his Dialogues on Medals shew that 
he had perused the works with great diligence and 
skill. The abundance of his own mind left him little 
need of adventitious sentiments ; his wit always could 
suggest what the occasion demanded. He had read 


with critical eyes the important volume of human 
life, and knew the heart of man from the depths of 
stratagem to the surface of affectation. 

What he knew he could easily communicate. 
Tin's," says Steele, " was particular in this writer, 
that, when he had taken his resolution, or made his 
plan for what he designed to write, he would walk 
about a room, and dictate it into language with as 
much freedom and ease as any one could write it 
down, and attend to the coherence and grammar 
of what he dictated." 

Pope, who can be less suspected of favouring his 
memory, declares that he wrote very fluently, but 
was slow and scrupulous in correcting; that many of 
his Spectators were written very fast, and sent imme- 
diately to the press; and that it seemed to be for his 
Advantage not to have time for much revisal. 

Of the course of Addison's familiar day, before 
his marriage, Pope has given a detail. He had in, 
the house with him Budgell, and perhaps Philips. 
His chief companions were Steele, Budgell, Philips, 
Carey, Daveriant, and Colonel Brett. With one or 
other of these he always breakfasted. He studied all 
morning : then dined at a tavern, and went after- 
wards to Button's. 

Button had been a servant in the Countess of War- 
wick's family, who, under the patronage of Addison, 
kept a coffee'-house on the south side of Russel-street, 
about two doors from Covent-garden. Here it was 
that the wits of that time used to assemble. Jt is 
said, that when Addison had suffered any vexation 
from the countess, he withdrew the company from 
Button's house. 

From the coftee-house he went again to a taveru, 
where he often sat late, and drank too much wine. 
In the bottle, discontent seeks for comfort, cowardice 
for courage, and bashful ness for confidence. It is 
not unlikely that Addison was first seduced to excess 
by the manumission which he obtained from the ser- 
vile timidity of his sober hours. He that feels oppres- 
C 3 


s>ion from the presence of those to whom he knows 
himself superior, will desire to set loose his powers of 
conversation ; and who, that ever asked succour from 
Bacchus, was able to preserve himself from being en- 
slaved by his auxiliary ? 

From any minute knowledge of his familiar man- 
ners, the intervention of sixty years has now debarred 
us. Steele once promised Congreve and the public 
a complete description of his character ; but the pro- 
mises of authors are like the vows of lovers. Steele 
thought no more on his design, or thought on it with 
anxiety that at last disgusted him, and left his friend 
in the hands of Tickell. 

His works will supply some information. It ap- 
pears from his various pictures of the world, that, with 
all his bashfulness, he had conversed with many dis- 
tinct classes of men, had surveyed their ways with very 
diligent observation, and marked with great acute- 
ness the effects of different modes of life. He was a 
man in whose presence nothing reprehensible was out 
of danger; quick in discerning whatever was wrong 
or ridiculous, and not unwilling to expose it. 
** There are," says Steele, " in his writings majiy 
" oblique strokes upon some of the wittiest menrftf 
" the age." His delight was more to excite merri- 
ment than detestation, and he detects follies rather 
than crimes. 

If any judgment be made, from his books, of his 
moral character, nothing will be found bat purity and 
excellence. Knowledge of mankind indeed, less ex- 
tensive than that of Addison, will shew, that to write 
and to live are very different. Many who praise 
virtue, do no more than praise it. Yet it is reason- 
able to believe that Addison's professions and practice 
were at no great variance, since, amidst that storm of 
faction in wnich most of nis life was passed, though 
his station made him conspicuous, and his activity 
made him formidable, the character given him by 
his friends was never contradicted by his enemies: 
of those with whom interest or opinion united him, 


li* had not only the esteem, but the kindness; and 
of others, whom the violence of opposition drove 
against him, though he might lose the love, he re- 
tained the reverence. 

It is justly .observed by Tickell, that he employed 
wit on the side of virtue and religion. He not only 
made 'the proper use of wit himself, but taught it to 
others; and from his time it has been generally sub- 
servient to the cause of reason and of truth. He 
has dissipated the prejudice that had long connected 
gaiety with vice, and easiness of manners with laxity 
of principles. He has restored virtue to its dignity, 
and taught innocence not to be ashamed. This is 
an elevation of literary character, above all Greek, 
above all Roman fame. No greater felicity can genius 
attain than that of having purified intellectual plea- 
sure, separated mirth from indecency, and wit from 
licentiousness; of having taught a succession of 
writers to bring elegance and gaiety to the aid of good- 
ness : and, if I may use expressions yet more awful, 
of having turned many to righteousness. 

Addison, in his life, and for some time afterwards, 
was considered by the greater part of readers as su- 
premely excelling both in poetry and criticism. Part 
of his reputation may be probably ascribed to the ad- 
vancement of his fortune : when, as Swift observes, 
he became a statesman, and saw poets waiting at 
his levee, it is no wonder that praise was accumu- 
lated upon him. Much likewise may be more ho- 
nourably ascribed to his personal character, he who, 
if he had claimed it, might have obtained the diadem, 
was not likely to be denied the laurel. 

But time quickly puts an end to artificial and ac- 
cidental fame; and Addison is to pass through futu- 
rity protected only by his genius. Every name which 
kindness or interest once raised too high, is in dan- 
ger, lest the next age should, by the vengeance of 
criticism, sink it in the same proportion. A great 
writer has lately styled him an indifferent poet, and 
a ivorse critic. 


His poetry is first to be considered ; of which it 
must be confessed, that it has not often those felicities 
of diction which give lustre to sentiments, or that 
vigour of sentiment that animates diction : there is 
little of ardour, vehemence, or transport; there is 
very rarely the awfulness of grandeur, and not very 
often the splendour of elegance. He thinks justly; 
but he thinks faintly. This is his general character; 
to which, doubtless, many single passages will furnish 

Yet, if he seldom reaches supreme excellence, he 
rarely sinks into clulness, and is still more rarely en- 
tangled in absurdity. He did not trust his powers 
enough to be negligent. There is in most of his 
compositions a calmness and equability, deliberate 
and cautious, sometimes with little that delights, but 
seldom with any thing that offends. 

Of this kind seem to be his poems to Dryden, to 
Sorners, and to the king. His ode on St. Cecilia has 
been imitated by Pope, and has something in it of 
Dryden's vigour. Of his account of the English 
Poets, he used to speak as a poor thing; but it is not 
worse than his usual strain. He has said, not very 
judiciously, in his character of Waller, 

" Thy verse could shew ev'n Cromwell's inno- 
" cence, 

" And compliment the storms thatborehim hence. 

" O ! had thy Muse not come an age too soon, 

'* But seen great Nassau on the British throne, 

" How had his triumph glitter'd in thy page! 
What is this but to say that he who could compli- 
ment Cromwell had been the proper poet for king 
William? Addison, however, never printed the 

The Letter from Italy has been always praised, but 
has never been praised beyond its merit. It is more 
correct, with less appearance of labour, and more ele- 
gant, with less ambition of ornament, than any other 
of his poems. There is, however, one broken meta- 
phor, of which notice may properly be taken: 


* .. . Fir'd with that name 

" I bridle in my struggling Muse with pain, 

" That longs to launch into a nobler strain." 
To bridle a goddess is no very delicate idea ; but why 
must she be bridled? because she longs to launch; 
an act which was never hindered by a bridle: and 
whither will she launch? into a nobler strain. She 
is in the first line a horse, in the second a boat', and 
the care of the poet is to keep his horse of his boat 
from singing. 

The next composition is the far-famed Campaign, 
which Dr. Warton has termed a Gazette in rhyme, 
with harshness not often used by the good-nature of 
his criticism. Before a censure so severe is admitted, 
let us consider that war is a frequent subject of 
poetry, and then enquire who has described it with 
more justness and force. Many of our own writers 
tried their powers upon this year of victory, yet Ad- 
dison's is confessedly the best performance; his poem 
is the work of a man not blinded by the dust of 
learning: his images are not borrowed merely from 
books. The superiority which he confers upon his 
hero is not personal prowess, and mighty lone, but 
deliberate intrepidity, a calm command of his pas- 
sions, and the power of consulting his own mind in 
the midst of danger. The rejection and contempt of 
fiction is rational and manly. 

It may be observed that the last line is imitated by 

' Marlb'rough's exploits appear divinely bright 

" Rais'd of themselves, their genuine charms they 
" boast, 

" And those that paint them truest, praise them 

" most." 

This Pope had in his thoughts ; but, not knowing 
how to use what was not his own, he spoiled the 
thought when he had borrowed it: 
" The well sung woes shall soothe my ghost; 

" He best can paint them, who shall feel them most." 
Martial exploits may be painted: perhaps woes may 


be painted; but they are surely not painted by being 
well sung : it is not easy to paint in song or to sing 
in colours. 

No passage in the Campaign has been more often 
mentioned than the simile of the Angel, which is 
said in the Tatler to he one of the noblest thoughts that 
ever entered into the mind of many and is therefore 
worthy of attentive consideration. Let it he first 
enquired whether it be a simile. A poetical simile is 
the discovery of likeness between two actions, in 
their general'nature dissimilar, or of causes terminat- 
ing by different operations in some resemblance of 
effect. But the mention of another like consequence 
from a like cause, or of a like performance by a like 
agency, is not a simile, but an exemplification. It is 
not a simile to say that the Thames waters fields, as 
the Po waters fields; or that as Hecla vomits flames 
in Iceland, so ./Etna vomits flames in Sicily. When 
Horace says of Pindar, that he pours his violence and 
rapidity of verse, as a river svvoln with rain rushes 
from the mountain ; or of himself, that his genius 
wanders in quest of poetical decorations, as the bee 
wanders to collect honey; he, in either case, pro- 
duces a simile ; the mind is impressed with the re- 
semblance of things generally unlike, as unlike as in- 
tellect and body. But if Pindar had been described 
as writing with the copiousness and grandeur of Ho- 
mer, or Horace had told that he reviewed and finished 
his own poetry with the same care as Isocrates po- 
lished his orations, instead of similitude he would 
have exhibited almost identity ; he would have given 
the same portraits with different names. Jn the poem 
now examined, when the English are represented as 
gaining a fortified pass, by repetition of attack and 
perseverance of resolution ; their obstinacy of cou- 
rage, and vigour of onset is well illustrated by the 
sea that breaks, with incessant battery, the dykes of 
Holland. This is a simile: but when Addison, 
having celebrated the beauty of Marl borough's per- 
son, tells us that Achilles thus ioas for rid with every 


grace, here is no simile, but a mere exemplification. 
A simile may be compared to lines converging at a 
point, and is more excellent as the lines approach 
from greater distance : an exemplification may be 
considered as two parallel lines which run on toge- 
ther without approximation, never far separated, and 
never joined. 

The opera of Rosamond, though it is seldom men- 
tioned, is one of the first of Addison's compositions. 
The subject is wellchoitn, the fiction is pleasing, and 
the praise of Marlborough, for which the scene gives 
an opportunity, is, what perhaps every human ex- 
cellence must be, the product of good luck improved 
by genius. The thoughts are sometimes great, and 
sometimes tenck-r ; the versification is easy and gay. 
There is doubtless some advantage in the shortness of 
the lines, which there is little temptation to load with 
expletive epithets. The dialogue seems commonly 
better than the songs. The two comic characters o'f 
Sir Trusty and Grideline, though of no great value, 
arc yet such as the poet intended. Sir Trusty's ac- 
count of the c'eath of Rosamond is, I think, too 
grossly absurd. The whole drama is airy and ele- 
gant; engaging in its process, and plenving in its 
conclusion. If Addison had cultivated the lighter 
parts of poetry, he would probably have excelled. 

The tragedy of Cafo, which, contrary to the rule 
observed in selecting the works of oiher poets, has 
by the weight of its character forced its way into the 
late collection, is unquestionably the noblest produc- 
tion of Addison'? genius. Of a work so much read, 
it is diilicult to ^ay any thing new. About things on 
which the public thinks long, it commonly attains to 
think right; and of Cato'it has been not unjustly de- 
termined, that it is rather a poem in dialogue than a 
drama, rather a succession of just sentiments in elegant 
language, than a representation of natural affections, 
or of any state probable or possible in human life. 
Nothing here excites or assuages emotion; here is no 
magical power of raiting phantaslic I error or will 

ci tude. 


anxiety. The events are expected without solicitude, 
and are remembered without joy or sorrow. Of the 
agents we have no care: we consider not what they 
are doing, or what they are suffering; we wish only 
to know what they have to say. Cato is a being 
above our solicitude; a man of whom the gods take 
care, and whom we leave to their care with heedless 
confidence. To the rest, neither gods nor men can 
have much attention; for there is not one amongst 
them that strongly attracts either affection or esteem. 
But they are made the vehicles of such sentiments 
and such expression, that there is scarcely a scene in 
the play which the reader does not wish to impress 
upon his memory. 

When Cato was shewn to Pope, he advised the 
author to print it, without any theatrical exhibition ; 
supposing that it would be read more favourably than 
heard. Addison declared himself of the same opinion ; 
but urged the importunity of his friends for its appear- 
ance on the stage. The emulation of parties made 
it successful beyond expectation, and its success has 
introduced or confirmed among us the use of dia- 
logue too declamatory, of unaffecting elegance, and 
chill philosophy. 

1 he universality of applause, however it might 
quell the censure of common mortals, had no other 
effect than to harden Dennis in fixed dislike; but his 
dislike was not merely capricious. He found and 
shewed many faults j he shewed them indeed with 
anger, but he found them with acuteness, such as 
ought to rescue his criticism from oblivion; though, 
at last, it will have no other life than it derives from 
the work which it endeavours to oppress. 

There is, as Dryden expresses, it, perhaps too much 
horse-play in his raillery ; but if his jests are coarse, 
his arguments are strong. Yet as we love better to 
be pleased than to be taught, Cato is read, and the 
critic is neglected. 

Of Addison's smaller poems, no particular mention 
is necessary; they have little that can employ or re- 


tpu're a critic. The parallel of the princes and gods, 
in his verses to Kneller, is often happy, but it is too 
well known to be quoted. 

His translations, so far as I have compared them, 
want the exactness of a scholar. That he understood 
his authors cannot be doubted ; but his versions will 
not teach others to understand them, being too licen- 
tiously paraphrastical. They are however, for the 
most part, smooth and easy; and, what is the first 
excellence of a translator, such as may be read with 
pleasure by those who do not know the originals. 

His poetry is polished and pure; the product of a 
mind too judicious to commit faults, but not suffi- 
ciently vigorous to attain excellence. He has some- 
times a striking line or a shining paragraph; but in 
the whole he is warm rather than fervid, and shews 
more dexterity than strength. He was however one 
of our earliest examples of correctness. 

The versification which he had learned from Dry- 
den, he debased rather than refined. His rhymes are 
often dissonant; in his Georgic he admits broken 
lines. He uses both triplets and alexandrines, but 
triplets more frequently in his translations than his 
other works. The mere structure of verses seems 
never to have engaged much of his care. But his 
lines are very smooth in Rosamond, and too smooth 
in Cafo. 

Addison is'now to be considered as a critic ; a 
name which the present generation is scarcely wil- 
ling to allow him. His criticism is condemned as 
tentative or experimental, rather than scientific, and 
he is considered as deciding by taste rather than by 

It is not uncommon for those who have grown wise 
by the labour of others, to add a liitle of their own, 
and overlook their masters. Addison is now despised 
by some who perhaps would never have seen his 
defects, but by the lights which he afforded them. 
That he always wrote as he would think it necessary 
to write now, cannot be affirmed; his instructions 


were such as the character of his readers m.ub proper. 
That general knowledge which now circulates in 
common talk, was in his time rarely to be found. 
Men not professing learning were not ashamed of ig- 
norance; and in the female world, any acquaintance 
with books was distinguished only to be censured. 
His purpose was to infuse literary curiosity, by gentle 
and unsuspected conveyance, into the gay, the idle, 
and the wealthy; he therefore presented knowledge 
in the most alluring form, not lofty and austere, but 
accessible and familiar, When he shewed them their 
defects, he shewed trrem likewise that they might be 
easily supplied. His attempt succeeded; enquiry 
was awakened, and comprehension expanded. An 
emulation of intellectual elegance was excited, and 
from his time to our own, life has been gradually ex- 
alted, and conversation purified and enlarged. 

Dryden had, not many years before, scattered cri- 
ticism over his prefaces with very little parsimony; 
but though he sometimes condescended to be some- 
what familiar, his manner was in general too scho- 
lastic for those who had yet their rudiments to learn, 
and found it not easy to understand their master. 
His observations were framed rather for those that 
were learning to write, than for those who read only 
to talk. 

An instructor like Addison was now wanting, 
whose remarks being superficial, might be easily un- 
derstood, and being just, might prepare the mind for 
more attainments. Had he presented Paradise Lost 
to the public with all the pomp of system and severity 
of science, the criticism would perhaps have been ad- 
mired, and the poem still have been neglected; but 
by the blandishments of gentleness and facility, he 
has made Milton an universal favourite, with whom 
readers of every class think it necessary lobe pleased. 

He descended now and then to lower disquisitions ; 
and by a serious display of the beauties of C/tevt/ 
Chase, exposed himself to the ridicule of Wagstafr. 
who bestowed a like pompous character on Tom 


and to the contempt of Dennis, who, consi- 
dering the fundamental position of his criticism, that 
Chevy Chase pleases, and ought to please, because it 
is natural, observes, " thai there is a way of devi- 
ating from nature, by bombast or tumour, which 
soars above nature, and enlarges images beyond 
their real bulk ; by affectation, which forsakesna- 
ture in quest of something unsuitable ; and by im- 
becility, which degrades nature by faintness and 
diminution, by obscuring its appearances, and 
weakening its effects." In Chevy Chase there is not 
much of either bombast or affectation; but there is 
chill and lifeless imbecility. The story cannot pos- 
sibly be told in a manner that shall make less impres- 
sion on the mind. 

Before the profound observers of the present race 
repose too securely on the consciousness of their su- 
periority to Addison, let them consider his Remarks 
on Ovid, in which may be found specimens of criti- 
cism sufficiently subtle and refined; let them peruse 
likewise his Essays on Wit, and on the Pleasures of 
Imagination, in which he founds art on the base of 
nature, and draws the principles of invention from 
dispositions inherent in the mind of man, with skill 
and elegance, such as his contemners will not easily 

As a describer of life and manners, he must be al- 
lowed to stand perhaps the first of the first rank. 
His humour, which, as Steele observes, is peculiar 
to himself, is so happily diffused as to give the grace 
of novelty to domestic scenes and daily occurrences. 
He never outsteps the modesty of nature, nor raises 
merriment or wonder by the violation of truth. His 
figures neither divert by distortion, nor amaze by 
aggravation. He copies life with so much fidelity, 
that he can be hardly said to invent; yet his exhi- 
bitions have an air so much original, that it is diffi- 
cult to suppose them not merely the product of ima- 

As a teacher of wisdom, he may be confidently 


followed. His religion has nothing in it enthusiastic 

or superstitious : he appears neither weakly credulous, 
nor wantonly sceptical; his morality is neither dan- 
gerously lax, nor impracticably rigid. All the en- 
chantment of fancy, and all the cogency of argu- 
ment, are employe a to recommend to the reader his 
real interest, the care of pleasing the Author of his 
being. Truth is shewn sometimes as the phantom 
of a vision, sometimes appears half-veiled in an alle- 
gory ; sometimes attracts regard in the robes of fancy, 
and sometimes steps forth in the confidence qf rea- 
son. She wears a thousand dresses, and in all is 

" Mille habet ornatus, mille decent er habet." 

His prose is the model of the middle style ; on 
grave subjects not formal, on light occasions not gro- 
velling; pure without scrupulosity, and exact without 
apparent elaboration; always equable, and always 
easy, without glowing words or pointed sentences. 
Addison never deviates from his track to snatch a 
grace ; he seeks no ambitious ornaments, and tries no 
hazardous innovations. His page is always luminous, 
but never blazes in unexpected splendour. 

It seems to have been his principal endeavour to 
avoid all harshness and severity of diction ; he is there- 
fore sometimes verbose in his transitions and con- 
nections, and sometimes descends too much to the 
language of conversation ; yet if his language had 
been less idiomatical, it might have lost somewhat 
of its genuine Anglicism. What he attempted, he 
performed ; he is never feeble, and he did not wish 
to be energetic; he is never rapid, and he never stag- 
nates. His sentences have neither studied amplitude, 
nor affected brevity : his periods, though not diligently 
rounded, are voluble and easy. Whoever wishes to 
attain an English style, familiar but not coarse, and 
elegant but not ostentatious, must give his days and 
nights to the volumes of Addison. 




IT is not always (I won't say it is not often) that 
the private character of the author ought to be a mo- 
tive with the critic for reviewing his works with more 
than the common candour which is due to all men. 
Mr. Addison, however, is so high in moral reputation, 
and the distant commencement of my life approached 
so near in time to the exemplary conclusion of hie, 
that I wish I could either consistently avoid saying 
any thing of Calo, or conscientiously persuade myself 
I had nothing to say of it but in its praise. 

No man was more careful o( his literary fame than 
Mr. Addison ; and as he committed himself very spa- 
ringly to the drama, there is every reason to believe, 
that he took due deliberation in his choice of a sub- 
ject for his tragedy, and he chose the death of Cato, 
the Catoris nobile lethum. His hero was a rigid 
pV'i! ojiiur, a zealous patriot, and a martyr in the 
caust; oi' freedom. This at least is his historical cha- 
racter ; bur with that I have nothing to do : 1 am 
only concerned with him as the hero of a play, and 
with Mr. Addison only as the writer of it; and I am 
compelled to say, that in my opinion it is a very ill- 
chosen subject, a very undramatic catastrophe, and a 
very false exceptionable moral. Had he represented 
his hero uniformly as a Stoic, there would have been 
no violation of character in his killing himself: upon 
Roman principles it might have passed, though even 
then it would not have been ajudicious choice on the 
part of Mr. Addison to make it the great incident in 
his catastrophe. But when be introduces Cato sitting 
in a thoughtful attitude with Plato in his hand, and 
his sword ready drawn for self-destruction on the table, 
he reduces himself to a very ridiculous dilemma be- 
d 3 


tween what he calls his bane and antidote; whilst 
the result of this serious meditation turns out to be 
that of choosing the evil, and rejecting the good ; for 
that 1 presume is the English of lane and antidote. 
He allows that Plato reasons well, and agrees with 
him as to the doctrine of the soul's immortality; yet 
when he debates the point between the sword and the 
book, he says 

" This in a moment brings me to my end, 
" But this informs me I shall never die." 
Now if Cato was convinced that he could never die, 
1 am at a loss to think how any thing could mo- 
mentarily bring him to his end; especially as the last 
line in trie couplet, by the construction of it, ties him 
down to the meaning of the soul's death, or annihila- 
tion, in both instances. In the meantime, to shew 
the full conviction in Cato's mind, that Plato's rea- 
soning had converted him, the author makes him go 
on to'say, 

The soul, secur'd in her existence, smiles 
At the drawn dagger, and defies its point. 
The stars shall lade away, the sun himself 
Grow dim with age, and nature sink in years; 
But thoii shall flourish in immortal youth, 
Unhurt amidst the war of elements, 
The wreck of matter, and the crush of worlds." 
It is rather singular, that. Mr. Addison should give 
these sentiments to his philosophical hero within a 
few minutes of his falling upon that sword, which he 
stigmatizes as his lane. 

I have quoted the whole passage, because they are 
so apposite a specimen of the dilated style, which he 
makes use of through the whole of this play- The 
five last lines have a sound ; but as to substance, they 
are wire-drawn and attenuated to a state of absolute 
consumption. Instances of the like sort will occur 
to the reader in almost every page; the periods are in 
general loaded with a weight of words, but not of 
weighty words. 

CRITIQUE. xliii 

The opening scene between the brothers is very ill- 
written, and even worse conceived ; for the conduct 
of it is positively ridiculous. There is an attempt at 
contrast ; but Marcus's patriotism evaporates in love, 
and Portius's philosophy in cunning. Were " but 
' his Lucia kind," Marcus would not be so very 
furious in the cause of liberty ; and were not Por- 
tius his rival, he would not be so very earnest in rea- 
soning Marcus out of his love for her. 
Sernpronius comes in to tell us that 
Conspiracies no sooner should be form'd 
" Than executed." 

which is a new doctrine, and would oblige us to find 
a new name for Sempronius's plots, if they required 
no time in ripening ; yet he seems to retract his opi- 
nion in the next line, and says, 
" I must dissemble, 

" And speak a language foreign to my heart." 
It seems he is in love with Marcia, and has been re- 
jected by her father : 

" Cato has ns'd me ill; he has refus'd 
" His daughter Marcia to my ardent vows." 
He gives us plain matter of fact in language quite as 
plain as prose ought to have been, if he had conde- 
scended to make use of it Cato had " us'd him ill," 
and Syphax comes in very opportunely to tell him, 
" I've sounded my Numidians, man ly man, 
" And find them ripe for a revolt." 
A very extraordinary instance of precision in canvas- 
sing a whole army, and draws from Sempronius a very 
natural remark, 

' Believe me, Syphax, there's no time to waste." 
A point so very clear, that it seems rather unneces- 
sary for Sempronius to waste so much time in ex- 
plaining to him why there is no time to spare. Yet 
after all his arguments against delay, he advises him 
to undertake what is likely to involve a great deal 
more delay. 


" Once more, be sure to try thy skill on Juba : 
'* Be sure to press upon him every motive." 
Sempronius has again fallen into his prose; and Sy- 
phax, after having seduced every soldier in his sove- 
reign's army, " man by man," is now about to under- 
take the seduction of Juba : 

t( I'll try if yet I can reduce to reason 

<c This headstrong youth, and make him spurn at 
" Cato." 

In this " trial of skill," which Syphax takes in 
hand, there seems something that resembles contra- 
diction ; for though it may be easy to make a " head- 
" strong youth spurn at Cato," yet as he proposes to 
" reduce him to reason at the same time," I should 
doubt if he can do both. But Juba is in love with 
Marcia, and, being favoured, has as much reason for 
befriending Cato, as Sempronius, being rejected, has 
for betraying him. 

The scene between Marcia and Lucia, which con- 
cludes the act, has so little of the character of tragedy 
in it, that to save some appearance of what it does not 
possess, the prompter has been obliged to cut it very 
nearly out. 

In the second act Cato makes his appearance, and 
holds a short council upon the question of war or 
peace, which question Sempronius and Lucius divide 
between them; and Cato, who seems to relish the 
advice of neither, but proposes nothing that has any 
allusion to generalship, or even common precaution, 

" To wait at least till Cesar's near approach 

" Force us to yield." 

But when this near approach, which seems to be the 
only thing wanting to decide for a surrender, is in- 
stantly announced by the arrival of Deems, he rejects 
every overture, and insists upon-Caesar's z/ze/cfo'wq him- 
self up to him, for which he is pleased to say 

lt Myself will mount the rostrum in his favour, 

" And strive to gain his pardon from the people." 


To this proposal Decius's instructions do not extend, 
and after a little altercation he departs with an obser- 

" When 1 relate hereafter 

" The tale of this unhappy embassy, 

" All Rome will he in tears." 

This I conceive to be a compliment to the tender 
hearts of the people of Rome, which in this period of 
their history they did not quite deserve. 

The third act presents us with an insurrection, con- 
trived and executed by Sempronius, in a style which 
perhaps is more decidedly irreconcilable to nature and 
common sense, than any insurrection which the Bri- 
tish stage ever represented. 1 did suspect that Sem- 
pronius's idea, that " conspiracies should be no sooner 
" form'd than executed," was not strictly correct; but 
his conduct of this exceeds all the expectations that 
could be founded upon that idea, whatever credit 
might be given him for the absurdity of it. Cato 
being a very bad general, though an excellent philo- 
sopher, Sempronius escapes detection, by ordering 
the tongues of his accomplices to be plucked out be- 
fore they could give their evidence, and impeach him. 
This was a bold expedient truly on the part of our 
poet, but I would advise no future poet ever to resort 
to it. 

In the fourth act Sempronius, still fertile in con- 
spiracies, starts one, that has not the objection of 
lying by too long, but is quite fresh, and with as little 
forethought in it"* as can be wished for : he dresses 
himself in a Numidian dress, takes a parcel of Nu- 
midian guards, and, personating Juba, attempts an 
enlevement of Marcia. He falls in with Juba, who 
single-handed takes all his guards, and kills Sempro- 
nius on the spot, who has only time to vent the fol- 
lowing natural wish : 

" Oh, for a peal of thunder, that would make 

" Earth, sea, and air, and Heav'n, and Cato, 
" tremble!" 


Bravo, poet! if that is not tragedy, what is it? It 
the gods did not gratify Sempi-uiius with this agree- 
able peal of thunder/ 1 hope ihe audience gave him 
something that resembled it ; which, if it did not make 
" Cato tremble," could hardly fail to make any author 
less steady than Mr. Addison tremble for him. 

The fifth act opens with Cato's soliloquy, after 
which he is very much dispos'd to fall asleep 

" My soul is quite weigh'd down with care, and asks 
" Tne soft refreshment of a moment's sleep." 

The " moment's sleep" lasts through the rest of the 
act, till a groan announces his death ; and as the unity 
of the scene is not to be disturbed, the dying man is 
brought in, and having the business of the play to 
settle, is occupied in matching his son with Lucia, 
and his daughter with Juba ; observing to the latter, 
as an apology for his condescending to an alliance with 
a Numidian 
** But Ca?sar's arms have thrown down all clis- 

** tinction ; 

" Whoe'er is brave and virtuous is a Roman." 
Which is an inference thai by no means follows from 
the premises; for " when all distinctions are thrown 
" down," it would be singular, if the highest of all 
distinctions were left standing. 

Having settled these affairs, he seems impatient for 
death, yet there is a beam of light breaks in upon his 
soul, which seems to announce something consola- 
tory ; but in this we are disappointed, as it only pro- 
duces a reflection of the melancholy cast : 

Alas ! I fear 

I've been too hasty Oh, ye Powers, that search 
The heartof man, and weigh his inmost thoughts, 
If I have clone amiss, impute it not ! 
The best may err ; but you are good, and Oh !" 
Thus dies Cato; and the British Muse has sung his 
requiem, never more to be disturbed. 



TO wake the soul by tender strokes of art , 

To raise the genius, and to mend the heart, 

To make mankind in conscious virtue bold, 

Live o'er each scene, and be what they bthold: 

For this the Tragic Muse first trod the stage; 

Commanding tears to stream through every age; 

Tyrants no more their savage nature kept, 

And foes to virtue wonder' a how they wept. 

Our author shuns by vulgar springs to move 

The hero's glory, or the virgin's love; 

.In pitying love ice but our weakness show, 

And wild ambition well deserves its woe. 

Here tears shall flow from a more gen'rous cause, 

Such tears as patriots shed for dying laws : 

He bids your breasts with ancient ardour rise t 

And calls forth Roman drops from British eyes. 

Virtue confessed in human shape he draws t 

What Plato t 'nought, and god- like Cato was: 

No common object to your sight displays, 

But ivhal with pleasure Heav'n itself surveys ; 

A Lrave man struggling in the storms offate, 

And greatly falling in a falling state ! 

While Cato gives his lit fie senate laws, 

What bosom beats not in his country's cause ? 

Who sees him act but envies ev'ry deed? 

Who heai-A him grcan, and does not wish to bleed? 

JEv'n when proud Ccesar, 'midst triumphal cars, 

The spoils of nations, and the pomp of wars, 

Ignobly vain, and impotent ty great, 

Shew'd Rome her Cato's figure drawn in state; 

.As her dead father's rev'rend image past, 

The pomp was darkened, and the day o'er cast, 

The. triumph ceas'd tears gush'd from ev'ry eye, 

The world's great victor pass'd unheeded by : 

Her last good man dejected Rome ador'd, 

And honoured Ccesar s less than Colo's sivord. 

xlviii PROLOGUE. 

Britons, attend: le worth like' this approved, 
And shew you have the virtue to le mov'd. 
With honest scorn thejirstfani'd Cato viewed" 
Rome learning arts from Greece whom she subdued 
Our scenes precariously subsist too long 
On French translation, and Italian song : 
Dare to have sense yourselves ; assert the stage j 
Be justly warni'd with your own native rage: 
Such plays alone should please a British ear, 
As Cato's self had not disdain 'd to hear. 



Lucius. ) c , 

C Senators. 

JUBA, Prince o/Numidia. 
SYPHAX, General of the Nutnidians. 


> Sons o/Cato. 

DECIUS, Ambassador from Caesar. 
Mutineers, Guards, &c, 


MARXIA, Daughter to Cato. 
LUCIA, Daughter to Lucius. 

SCENE. A Hall in the Governor's Palace in 




Portius. THE dawn is overcast, the morning low'rs, 
And heavily in clouds brings on the day, 
The great, th 1 important day, hig with the fatfr 

Of Cato and of Rome our father's death 

Would fill up all the guilt of civil war, 
And close the scene of blood. Already Caesar 
Has ravag'd more than half the globe, and sees 
Mankind grown thin by his destructive sword : 
Should he go farther, numbers would be wanting 
To form new battles, and support his crimes. 
Ye gods, what havoc does ambition make 
Among your works ! 

Marc. Thy steady temper, Portius, 
Can look on guilt, rebellion, fraud, and Cassar, 
In the calm lights of mild philosophy; 
I'm tortur'd, ev'n to madness, when 1 think 
On the proud victor : ev'ry time he's nam'd 
Pharsalia rises to my view ! I see 
Th' insulting tyrant prancing o'er the field, 
Strew'd with Rome's citizens, and'd in 


His horse's hoofs wet with patrician blood ! 
Oh, Portius ! is there noisome chosen curse, 
Some hidden thunder in the stores of Heav'n, 
Red with uncommon wrath, to blast the man 
Who owes his greatness to his country's ruin ? 

Par. Believe me, Marcus, 'tis an impious greatness., 
And mix'd with too much horror to be envy'd ; 
How does the lustre of our father's actions, 
Through the dark cloud of ills that cover him, 
Breakout, and burn with more triumphant brightness! 
His suff'rings shine, and spread a glory round him ; 
Greatly unfortunate, he fights the cause 
Of honour, virtue, liberty, and Rome. 
His sword ne'er fell, but on the guilty head ; 
Oppression, tyranny, and pow'r usurp'd, 

2 CATO. Act I. 

Draw all the vengeance ofhis arm uptm 'em. 

Marc. Who knows not this ! Hut what can Cato do 
Against a world, a base, degen'rate world, 
That courts the yoke, and bows the neck to Caesar? 
Pent up in Utica, he vainly forms 
A poor epitome of Roman greatness, 
And, cover'd with Numidian guards, directs 
A feeble army, and an empty senate, 
Remnants of mighty battles fought in vain. 
By Ileav'n, such virtues, join'd with such success, 
Distracts my very soul ! our father's fortune 
Would almost tempt us to renounce his precepts. 

Por. Remember what our father oft has told us : 
The ways of Heav'n are dark and intricate ; 
Puzzled in mazes, and perplex'cl with errors, 
Our understanding traces them in vain, 
Lost and bewilder'd in the fruitless search ; 
Nor sees with how much art the windings run, 
Nor where the regular confusion ends. 

Marc. These are suggestions of a mind at ease : 
Oh, Portius, didst thou taste but half the griefs 
That wring my soul, thou couldst not talk thus coldly. 
Passion unpitied, and successless love, 
Plant daggers in my heart, and aggravate 
My other griefs. Were but my Lucia kind 

Por. Thou seest not that thy' brother is thy rival ; 
But I must hide it, for I know thy temper. [Aside. 
Now, Marcus, now thy virtue's on the proof: 
Put forth thy utmost strength, work ev'ry nerve, 
And call up all thy father in thy soul : 
To quell the tyrant, love, and guard thy heart 
On this weak side, where most our nature fails, 
Would be a conquest worthy Cato's son. 

Marc. Portius, the counsel which I cannot take, 
Instead of healing, but upbraids my weakness. 
Bid me for honour plunge into a war 
Of thickest foes, and rush on certain death, 
Then shall thou sec that Marcus is not slow 
To follow glory, and confess his father. 
Love is not to be reason'd down, or lost 

Act I. CATO. 3 

In high ambition or a thirst of greatness, 
'Tis second life, it grows into the soul, 
Warms every vein, and heats in every pulse, 
I feel it here : my resolution melts 

Por. Behold young Juba, the Nuniidian prince, 
With how much care he forms himself to glory, 
And breaks the fierceness of his native temper, 
To copy out our father's bright example. 
He loves our sister Marcia, greatly loves her ; 
" His eyes, his looks, his actions, all betray it ;" 
But still the smother'd fondness burns within him ; ' 
" When most it swells and labours for a vent," 
The sense of honour, and desire of fame 
Drive the big passion back into his heart 
W T hat ! shall an African, shall Juba's heir 
Reproach great Gate's son, and shew the world 
A virtue wanting in a Roman soul ! 

Marc. Portius, no more ! your words leave stings 

behind 'em. 

Whene'er did Juba, or did Portius, shew 
A virtue that has cast me at a distance, 
And thrown me out in the pursuits of honour ? 

Por. Marcus, I know thy gen'rous temper well j 
Fling but th' appearance of clishonour on it, 
It straight takes fire, and mounts into a blaze. 

Marc. A brother's sufl'rings claim a brother's 

Por. Heav'n knows I pity thee. Behold my eyes 
Ev'n whilst I speak do they not swim in tears ? 
Were but my heart as naked to thy view, 
Marcus would see it bleed in his behalf. 

Marc. Why then dost treat me with rebukes, instead 
Of kind condoling cares, and friendly sorrow ? 

Por. Oh, Marcus! did I know the way to ease 
Thy troubled heart, and mitigate thy pains, 
Marcus, believe me, I could die to do it. 

Marc. Thou best of brothers, and thou best of 

friends ! 

Pardon a weak distemper'd soul, that swells 
With sudden gusts, and sinks as soon in calms, 

L C 2 

4 CATO. Act L 

The sport of passions. But Sempronius comes : 
He must not find this softness hanging on me. 

[Exit Mar. 

Sem, Conspiracies no sooner should be form'd 
Than executed. What means Portius here ? 
I like not that cold youth. I must dissemble, 
And speak a language foreign to my heart. [Aside. 
Good- morrow, Portius: let ns once embrace, 
Once more embrace, while yet we both are free. 
To-morrow, should we thus express our friendship, 
Each might receive a slave into his arms. 
This sun, perhaps, this morning sun's the last, 
That e'er shall rise on Roman liberty. 

Por. My father has this morning call'd together, 
To this poor hall, his little Roman senate, 
(The leavings of Pharsalia) to consult 
If he can yet oppose the mighty torrent 
That bears down Rome, and all her gods before it, 
Or must at length give up the world to Caesar. 

Sem* Not all the pomp and majesty of Rome 
Can raise her senate more than Cato's presence. 
His virtues render our assembly awful, 
They strike with something like religious fear, 
And make even Ca?sar tremble at the head 
Of armies flush'd with conquest. Oh, myPorlius! 
Could I but call that wond'rous man my father, 
Would but thy sister Marcia be propitious 
To thy friend's vows, I might be bless'd indeed ! 

Por. Alas, Sempronius! vvouldstthou talk of love 
To Marcia whilst her father's life's in clanger ; 
Thou might'st as well court the pale, trembling vestal, 
When she beholds the holy flame expiring. 

Sem. The more I see the wonders of thy race, 
The more I'm charm'd. Thou must take heed, my 

Portius ; 

The world has all its eyes on Cato's son ; 
Thy father's merit sets thee up to view, 
And shews thee in the fairest point of light, 
To make thy virtues or thy faults conspicuous. 

Act I. CATO. 5 

Por. Well dost thou seem to check myling'ringhere 
On this important hour I'll straightaway, 
And while the fathers of the senate meet 
In close debate, to weigh th' events of war, 
I'll animate the soldiers' drooping courage 
With love of freedom, and contempt of life; 
I'll thunder in their ears their country's cause, 
And try to rouse up all that's Roman in 'em. 
'Tis not in mortals to command success, 
But we'll do more, Sempronius, we'll deserve it. \_Ex. 

Sem. Curse on the stripling ! now he apes his sire! 
Ambitiously sententious But I wonder 
Old Syphax comes not; his Numidian genius 
Is well dispos'd to mischief, were he prompt 
And eager on it : but he must be spurr'd, 
And every moment quicken'd to the course. 
Cato has us'd me ill : he has refus'd 
His daughter Marcia to my ardent vows. 
Besides, his baffled arms, and ruin'd cause, 
Are bars to my ambition. Caesar's favour, 
That show'rs down greatness on his friends, will raise 


To Rome's first honour's. If I give up Cato, 
I claim, in my reward, his captive daughter. 

But Syphax comes 

Enter SYPHAX. 

Syph. Sempronius, all is ready ; 
I've sounded my Numidians, man by man, 
And find them ripe for a revolt: they all 
Complain aloud of Cato's discipline, 
And wait but the command to change their master. 

Sem. Believe me, Syphax, there's no time to waste; 
Ev'n while we speak our conqueror comes on, 
And gathers ground upon us every moment. 
Alas! thou know'st not Caesar's active soul, 
With what a dreadful course he rushes on 
From war to war. In vain has nature form'd 
Mountains and oceans to oppose his passage ; 
He bounds o'er all; victorious in his march, 
The Alps and Pyreneans sink before him : 
E c 3 

f) CATO. Act I. 

Through winds and waves, and storms, he works his 


Impatient for the battle ; one day more 
Will set the victor thund'rirag at our gates. 
But, tell me, hast thou yet drawn o'er young Juba? 
That still would recommend thee more to Caesar. 
And challenge better terms. 

Syph. Alas, he's lost ! 

He's lost, Sempronius; all his thoughts are full 
Of Cato's virtues But I'll try once more 
(For every instant I expect him here) 
If yet I can subdue those stubborn principles 
Of faith and honour, and 1 know not what, 
That have corrupted his Numidian temper, 
And struck th* infection into all his soul. 

Sem. Be sure to press upon him every motive. 
Juba's surrender, since his father's death, 
Would give up Afric into Caesar's hands, 
And make him lord of half the burning zone. 

Syph. But is it true, Sempronius, that your senate 
Is call'd together? Gods ! thou must be cautious; 
Cato has piercing eyes, and will discern 
Our frauds, unless they're cover' d thick with art. 

Sem. Let me alone, good Syphax, I'll conceal 
My thoughts in passion, ('tis the surest way ;) 
I'll bellow out for Rome, and for my country, 
And mouth at Caesar 'till I shake the senate. 
Your cold hypocrisy's a stale device, 
A worn-out trick ; wouldst thou be thought in earnest, 
Clothe thy feign'd zeal in rage, in fire, and fury ! 

Syph. In troth, thou'rt able to instruct grey hairs, 
And teach the wily African deceit. 

Sem. Once more be sure to try thy skill on Juba. 
Meanwhile I'll hasten to my Roman soldiers, 
Inflame the mutiny, and underhand 
Blow up their discontents till they break out 
Unlook'd for, and discharge themselves on Cato. 
Remember, Syphax, we must work in haste : 
Oh, think what anxious moments pass between 
The birth of plots, and their last fatal periods ! 

Act I. CATO. 7 

Oh, 'tis a dreadful interval of time, 
Fili'd op with horror all, and big with death ! 
Destruction hangs on ever)' word we speak, 
On every thought, 'till the concluding stroke 
Determines all, and closes our design. [Exit. 

Sijph. I'll try if yet I can reduce to reason 
This headstrong youth, and make him spurn at Cato. 
The time is short ; Caesar corner rushing on us 
But hold! young Juba sees me, and approaches. 
Enter JUBA. 

Jub. Syphax, I joy to meet thee thus alone. 
I have observ'd of late thy looks are fall'n, 
O'ercast with gloomy cares and discontent ; 
Then tell me, Syphax, I conjure thee, tell me, 
What are the thoughts that knit thy brow in frowns, 
And turn thine eyes thus coldly on thy prince ? 

Syph. 'Tis not my talent to conceal my thoughts, 
Or carry smiles and sunshine in my face, 
When discontent sits heavy at my heart ; 
I have not yet so much the Ropian in me. 

Jub. Why dose thou cast out such ungen'rous terms 
Against the lords and sov'reigns of the world ? 
Dost thou not see mankind fall down before them, 
And own the force of their superior virtue? 
Is there a nation in the wilds of Afric, 
Amidst our barren rocks, and burning sands, 
That does not tremble at the Roman name ? 

Syph. Gods! where's the worth that sets these 

people up 

Above her own Numidia's tawny sons ? 
Do they with tougher sinews bend the bow ? 
Or flies the jav'lin swifter to its mark, 
Launch'd from the vigour of a Roman arm ? 
Who like our active African instructs 
The fiery steed, and trains him to his hand ? 
Or guides in troops th' embattled elephant 
Laden with war ? These, these are arts, my prince, 
In which your Zama does not stoop to Rome. 

Jub. These all are virtues of a meaner rank ; 
Perfections that are plac'd in bones and nerves. 

8 CATO. 

A Roman soul is bent on higher views : 
To civilize the rude, unpolish'd world, 
And lay it under the restraint of laws ; 
To tnake man mild and sociable to man j 
To cultivate the wild, licentious savage, 
With wisdom, discipline, and the lib'ral arts; 
Th' embellishments of life : virtues like these 
Make human nature shine, reform the soul, 
And break our fierce barbarians into men. 
Syph. Patience, kind Heav'ns ! excuse an 

man's warmth : 
What are those wond'rous civilizing arts, 
This Roman polish, and this smooth behaviour, 
That renders man thus tractable and tame? 
Are they not only to disguise our passions, 
To set our looks at variance with our thoughts, 
To check the starts and sallies of the soul, 
And break off all its commerce with the tongue: 
In short, to change us into other creatures 
Than what our nature and the gods dcsign'd us? 
Jub. To strike thee dumb; turn up thy eyes to 


There may'st thou see to what a god-like height 
The Roman virtues lift up mortal man, 
While good, and just, and anxious for his friends, 
He's still severely bent against himself ; 
" Renouncing sleep, and rest, and food, and ease, 
" He strives with thirst and hunger, toil and heat." 
And when his fortune sets before him all 
The pomps and pleasures that his soul can wish, 
His rigid virtue will accept of none. 

SypJi. Believe me, prince, there's not an African 
That traverses our vast Numidian deserts 
In quest of prey, and lives upon his bow, 
But better practises those boasted virtues. 
Coarse are his meals, the fortune of the chace, 
Amidst the running stream he slakes his thirst, 
'Foils all the day, and at th' approach of night, 
On the first friendly bank he throws him down, 
Or rests his head upon a rock till rnorn : 

Act 1. CATO. 9 

Then rises fresh, pursues his wonted game, 
And if the following day he chance to find 
A new repast, or an untasted spring, 
Blesses his stars, and thinks it luxury. 

Jub. Thy prejudices, Syphax, won't discern 
What virtues grow from ignorance and choice, 
Nor how the hero differs from the brute. 
" But grant that others could with equal glory 
' ' Look down on pleasures, and the baits of sense/' 
Where shall we find the man that bears affliction, 
Great and majestic in his griefs, like Cato ? 
*' Heav'ns! with what strength, what steadiness of 

" mind, 

" He triumphs in the midst of all his sufTrings 1" 
How does he rise against a load of woes, 
And thank the gods that throw the weight upon 
him ! 

Syph. 'Tis pride, rank pride, and haughtiness of 

soul ; 

I think the Romans call it stoicism. 
Had not your royal father thought so highly 
Of Roman virtue, and of Gate's cause, 
He had notfall'n by a slave's hand inglorious: 
Nor would his slnughter'd army now have lain 
On Afric sands disfigured with their wounds. 
To gorge the wolves and vultures of Numidia. 

Jub. Why dost thou call my sorrows up afresh? 
My father's name brings tears into my eyes. 

Syph. Oh, that you'd profit by your father's ills ! 

Jub. What wouldst thou have me do? 

Siipli. Abandon Cato. 

Jub. Syphax, I should be more than twice an orphan 
By such a loss. 

Syph. Ay, there's the tie that binds you ! 
You long to call him father. Marcia's charms 
Work in your heart unseen, and plead for Cato. 
No wonder you are deaf to all I say. 

Jub. Syphax, your zeal becomes importunate; 
I've hitherto permitted ii to rave, 
And talk at large ; but learn to keep it in, 

10 CATO. Act L 

Lest it should take more freedom than I'll give it. 

Syph. Sir, your great father never us'd me thus. 
Alas, he's dead ! but can you e'er forget 
The tender sorrows, and the pangs of nature, 
*' The fond embraces, and repeated blessings," 
Which you drew from him in your last farewell? 
Still must I cherish the dear sad remembrance, 
At once to torture and to please my soul. 
The good old king at parting wrung my hand 
(His eyes brim-full of tears), then sighing, cry'd, 

Pr'vthee be careful of my son ! His grief 

Swell d up so high, he could not utter more. 

Jub. Alas ! thy story melts away my soul j 
That best of fathers ! how shall I discharge 
The gratitude and duty which I owe him? 

Syph. By laying up his counsels in your heart. 

Juli. His counsels bid me yield to thy directions : 
Then, Syphax, chide me in severest terms, 
Vent all thy passion, and I'll stand its shock, 
Calm and unruffled as a summer sea, 
When not a breath of wind flies o'er its surface. 

Syph. Alas! my prince, I'd guide thee to your 

Jul. I do believe thou wouldst ; but tell me how ? 

Syph. Fly from the fate that follows Caesar's foes. 

Jub. My father scorn'd to do it. 

Syp. And therefore dy'd. 

Jub. Better to die ten thousand thousand deaths, 
Than wound my honour. 

Syph. Rather say your love. 

Jub. Syphax, I've promis'd to preserve my temper. 
Why vvih thou urge me to confess a flame 
I long have stifled, and would fain conceal? 

Syph. Believe me, prince, though hard to conquer 


Tiseasy to divert and break its force. 
Absence might cure it, or a second mistress 
Light up another flame, and put out this. 
The glowing dames of Zama's royal court 
Have faces flush'd with more exalted charms; 

Act I. CATO. 11 

The sun that rolls his chariot o'er their heads, 
Works up more fire and colour in their cheeks ; 
Were you with these, my prince, you'd soon forget 
The pale, unripetvd beauties of the North. 

Jul. 'Tis not a set of features, or complexion, 
The tincture of a skin, that 1 admire : 
Beauty soon grows familiar to the lover, 
Fades in his eye, and palls upon the sense. 
The virtuous Marcia tow'rs above her sex: 
True, she is fair, (Oh, ho\v divinely fair!) 
But still the lovely rnaid improves her charms 
With inward greatness, unaffected wisdom, 
And sanctity of manners; Cato's soul 
Shines out in every thing she acts or speaks, 
While winning mildness and attractive smiles, 
Dwell in her looks, and with becoming grace 
Soften the vigour of her father's virtue. 

Sylih. How does your tongue grow wanton in her 

praise ! 
But on my knees I beg you would consider 

Jub. Ha! Syphax, is't not she? She moves this 

way : 

And with her Lucia, Lucius's fair daughter. 
My heart beats thick 1 pr'ythee, Syphax, leave me. 

Syph. Ten thousand curses fasten on them both ! 
Now will the woman, with a single glance, 
Undo what I've been lab'ring all this while, 

[Exit Syphax. 
Enter MARCIA and LUCIA. 

Jul. Plail, charming maid ! How does thy beauty 


The face of war, and make ev'n horror smile ! 
At sight of thee my heart shakes off its sorrows 
I feel a dawn of joy break in upon me, 
And for a while forget the approach of Caesar. 

Mar. 1 should be griev'd, young prince, to think 

my presence 

Unbent your thoughts, and slacken'd 'em to arms. 
While, warm with slaughter, our victorious foe 
Threaten* aloud, and calls vox* to the field. 

12 CATO. Act I. 

Jul. Oh, Marcia, let me hope thy kind concerns 
And gentle wishes follow me to battle ! 
The thought will give new vigour to my arm, 
Add strength and weight to my descending sword, 
And drive it in a tempest on the foe. 
. Mar. My prayers and wishes always shall attend 
The friends of Rome, the glorious cause of virtue, 
And men approv'd of by the gods and Cato. 

Jul. That Juba may deserve thy pious cares, 
I'll gaze for ever on thy god- like rather, 
Transplanting one by one, into my life, 
His bright perfection, 'till I shine like him. 

Mar. My father never, at a time like this, 
Would lay out his great soul in words, and wastt 
Such precious moments. 

Jul. Thy reproofs are just, 
Thou virtuous maid ; I'll hasten to my troops, 
And fire their languid souls with Cato's virtue. 
If e'er 1 lead them to the field, when all 
The war shall stand rang'd in its just array, 
And dreadful pomp; then will I think on thee. 
Oh, lovely maid ! then will 1 think on thee ; 
And in the shock of charging hosts, remember 
What glorious deeds should grace the man who hopes 
For Marcia's love. [IfozVJuDa. 

Luc. Marcia, you're too severe; 
How cou'd you chide the young good-natur'd prince, 
And drive him from you with so stern an air, 
A prince that loves and doats on you to death ? 

Mar. "Tis therefore, Lucia, that 1 chid him from me. 
His air, his voice, his looks, and honest soul, 
Speak all so movingly in his behalf, 
I dare not trust myself to hear him talk. 

Luc. Why will you fight against so sweet a passion, 
And steel your heart to such a world of charms? 

Mar. How, Lucia! wouldst thou have me sink away 
In pleasing dreams, and lose myself in love, 
When every moment Cato's life's at stake? 
Ca3sar comes arm'd with terror and revenge, 
And aims his thunder at my father's head. 

Act /. CATO. IS 

Should not the sad occasion swallow up 
My other cares, " and draw them all into it?" 

Luc. Why have not I this constancy of mind, 
Who have so many griefs to try its force? 
Sure, nature form'd me of her softest mould, 
Enfeebled all rny soul with tender passions, 
And sunk me ev'n below my own weak sex : 
Pity and love, by turns, oppress my heart. 

Mar. Lucia, disburthen all thy cares on me, 
And let me share thy most retir'd distress. 
Tell me who raises up this conflict in thee? 

Luc. I need not blush to name them, when I tell 

They're Marcia's brothers, and the sons of Cato. 

Mar. They both behold thee with their sister's eyes, 
And often have reveal'd their passion to me. 
" But tell me, whose address thou fav'rest most ! 
<( I long to know, and yet 1 dread to hear it. 
" Luc. Which is it Marcia wishes for? 

" Mar. For neither 

*' And yet for both The youths have equal share 

' lu Marcia's wishes, and divide their sister :" 
But tell me which of them is Lucia's choice? 

" Luc. Marcia, they both aie high in my esteem, 
" But in my love Why wilt thou make me name him 1 
" Thou know'stit is a blind and foolish passion, 
'* Pleas'd and disgusted with it knows not what 
" Mar. Oh, Lucia, I'm perplex'd! Oh, tell me 

" which 
lt I must hereafter call my happy brother ?" 

Luc. Suppose 'twere Portius, could you blame my 


Oh, Portius, thou hast stol'n away my soul! 
" With what a graceful tenderness he loves ! 
" And breathes the softest, the sincerest vows ! 
" Complacency, and truth, and manly sweetness, 
' ' Dwell ever on his tongue, and smooth his thoughts." 
Marcius is over-warm, his fond complaints 
Have so much earnestness and passion in them, 
I heai them with a secret kind of horror, 

14 CATO. Act 1. 

And tremble at his vehemence of temper. 

Mar. Alas, poor youth ! ** how canst thou throw 

" him from thee ? 

" Lucia, thouknow'st not half the love he bears thee : 
" Whene'er he speaks of thee his heart's in flames, 
f< He sends out all his soul in ev'ry word, 
" And thinks, and talks, and looks, like one trans- 

" ported, 

" Unhappy youth !" How will thy coldness raise 
Tempests and storms in his afflicted bosom ! 
I dread the consequence. 

Luc. You seem to plead 
Against your brother Portius. 

Mar. Heav'n forbid ! 
Had Portius been the unsuccessful lover, 
The same compassion would have fall'n on him, 

Luc. Was ever virgin love distrest like mine! 
Portius himself oft falls in tears before me, 
As if he mourn'd his rival's ill success, 
Then bids me hide the motions of my heart, 
Nor shew which way it turns. So much he fears 
The sad effects that it will have on Marcus. 

" Mar. He knows too well how easily he's fir'd, 
" And would not plunge his brother in despair, 
" But waits for happier times, and kinder moments. 

" Luc. Alas! too late I find myself involv'd 
" In endless griefs and labyrinths of woe, 
'* Born to afflict my Marcia's family, 
" And sow dissension in the hearts of brothers. 
" Tormenting thought! Itcuts into my soul." 

Mar. Let us not, Lucia, aggravate our sorrows, 
But to the gods submit th' event of things. 
Our lives, discolour'd with our present woes, 
May still grow bright, and smile with happier hours. 

So the pure limpid streams, when foul with stains 
Of rushing torrents, and descending rains, 
Works itself clear, and, as it runs refines, 
'Till by degrees the floating mirror shines, 
Reflects each flow'r thai on the border grows, 
And a new heav'n in its fair bosom shows. {Exeunt, 

Act II. CATO. 1.) 


The Senate. Lucius, SEMPRONIUS, and Senators. 
Sempronius. ROME still survives in this assembled 

senate ! 

Let us remember we are Cato's friends, 
And act like men who claim that glorious title. 
Luc. Cato will soon be here, and open to us 
Th' occasion of our meeting. Hark ! he comes ! 

\_A sound of Trumpets. 
May all the guardian gods of Rome direct him ! 

Enter CATO. 

Cato. Fathers, we once again are met in council: 
Caesar's approach has summori'd us together, 
And Rome attends her fate fioin our resolves. 
How shall we treat this bold aspiring man? 
Success still follows him, and backs his crimes ; 
Pharsalia gave him Rome, Egypt has since 
Receiv'd his yoke, and the whole Nile is Caesar's. 
Why should 1 mention Juba's overthrow, 
And Scipio's death ? Numidia's burning sands 
Still smoke with blood. 'Tis time we should decree 
What course to take. Our foe advances on us, 
And envies us ev'n Lybia's sultry departs. 
Fathers, pronounce your thoughts: are they still fix'd 
To hold it out and fight it to the last ? 
Or are your hearts subdu'd at length, and wrought 
By time, and ill success, to a submission ? 
Sempronius, speak. 

Sem. My voice is still for war. 
Gods! can a Roman senate long debate 
Which of the two to choose, slav'ry or death ! 
No, let us rise at once, gird on our swords, 
And at the head of our remaining troops 
Attack the foe, break through the thick array 
Of his throng'd legions, and charge home upon him. 
Perhaps some arm, more lucky than the rest, 
May reach his heart, and free the world from bondage. 
Rise, fathers, rise! 'Tis Rome demands your help : 
Rise, and revenge your slaughter'd citizens, 

16 CATO. Act If. 

Or share their fate ! The corpse of half her senate 
Manure the fields of Thessaly, while we 
Sit here deliberating in cold debates, 
If we should sacrifice our lives to honour, 
Or wear them out in servitude and chains. 
Rouse up, for shame! our brothers of Pharsalia 
Point at their wounds, and cry aloud To battle ! 
Great Pompey's shade complains that we are slow ; 
And Scipio's ghost walks unreveng'd amongst us. 

Cato. Let not a toirent of impetuous zeal 
Transport thee thus beyond the bounds of reason: 
True fortitude is seen in great exploits 
That justice warrants, and that wisdom guides : 
All else is low'ring frenzy and distraction. 
Are not the lives of those that draw the sword 
In Rome's defence entrusted to our care? 
Should we thus lead them to a field of slaughter, 
Might not th' impartial world with reason say, 
We lavish 'd at our deaths the blood of thousands, 
To grace our fall, and make our ruin glorious ? 
Lucius, we next would know what's your opinion? 
Luc. My thoughts, I must confess, are turn'd on 


Already have our quarrels fill'd the world 
With widows, and with orphans: Scythia mourns 
Our guilty wars, and earth's remotest regions 
Lie half unpeopled by the feuds of Rome: 
'Tis time to sheath the sword, and spare mankind. 
It is not Caesar, but the gods, my fathers, 
The gods declare against us, and repel 
Our vain attempts. *' To urge the foe to battle, 
" (Prompted by blind revenge and wild despair) 
" Were to refuse th' awards of Providence, 
" And not to rest in Heaven's determination." 
Already have we shewn our love to Rome, 
!Now let us shew submission to the gods. 
\Ve took up arms, not to revenge ourselves, 
But free the commonwealth : when this end fails, 
Arms have no further use. Our country's cause s 

Act //. CATO. 17 

That drew our swords, now wrests 'em from our 


And bids us not delight in Roman blood 
Unprofitably shed. What men could do, 
Is done already: Heav'n and earth will witness, 
If Rome must fall, that we are innocent. 

" Sem. This smooth discourse, and mild beha- 
" viour, oft 

" Conceal a traitor something whispers me 

" All is not right Cato, beware of Lucius. 

" [Aside to Cato" 

Cato. Let us appear nor rash nor diffident ; 
Immoderate valour swells into a fault ; 
And fear admitted into public councils 
Betrays like treason. Let us shun 'em both. 
Fathers, I cannot see that our affairs 
Are grown thus desp'rate : we have bulwarks round us; 
Within our walls are troops inur'd to toil 
In Afric's heat, and seasoned to the sun ; 
Numidia's spacious kingdom lies behind us, 
Ready to rise at its young prince's call. 
While there is hopes, do not distrust the gods; 
But wait at least till Caesar's near approach 
Force us to yield. 'Twill never be too late 
To sue for chains, and own a conqueror. 
Why should Rome fall a moment ere her time ; 
No, let us draw her term of freedom out 
In its full length, and spin it to the last, 
So shall we gain still one day's liberty : 
And let me perish, but in Cato's judgment, 
A day, an hour, of virtuous liberty, 
Is worth an whole eternity in bondage. 
Enter MARCUS. 

Marc. Fathers, this moment, as I watch'd the gate, 
Lodg'd on my post, a herald is arriv'd 
From Caesar's camp, and with him comes old Decius, 
The Roman knight; he carries in his looks 
Impatience, and demands to speak with Cato. 

Cato. By your permission, fathers bid him enter. 

[&K& Marcus. 

B 3 

18 CATO. Act II. 

Decius was once my friend, but other prospects 
Have loos'd those ties, and bound him fast to Caesar. 
His message may determine our resolves. 
Enter DECIUS. 

Dec. Caesar sends health to Cato 

Cat.o. Cou'd he send it 

To Cato's slaughter'd friends, it would be welcome. 
Are not your orders to address the senate? 

Dec. My business is with Cato ! Caesar sees 
The straights to which you're driven ; and, as he knows 
Cato's high worth, is anxious for your life. 

Cato. My life is grafted on the fate of Rome. 
Wou'd he save Cato, bid him spare his country. 
Tell your dictator this ; and tell him, Cato 
Disdains a life which he has power to offer. 

Dec. Rome and her senators submit to Caesar ; 
Her gen'rals and her consuls are no more, 
Who check'd his conquests, and deny'd his triumphs. 
Why will not Cato be this Caesar's friend? 

Cato. These very reasons thou hast urg'd forbid it. 

Dec. Cato, 1 have orders to expostulate, 
And reason with you, as from friend to friend : 
Think on the storm that gathers o'er your head, 
And threatens ev'ry hour to burst upon it ; 
Still may you stand high in your country's honours, 
Do but comply and make your peace with Caesar, 
Rome will rejoice and cast its eyes on Cato, 
As on the second of mankind. 

Cato. No more: 
I must not think of life on such conditions. 

Dec. Caesar is well acquainted with your virtues, 
And therefore sets this value on your life. 
Let him but know the price of Cato's friendship, 
And name your terms. 

Cato. Bid him disband his legions, 
Restore the commonwealth to liberty, 
Submit his actions to the public censure, 
And stand the judgment of a Roman senate. 
Bid him do this, and Cato is his friend. 

Dec. Cato, the world talks loudly of your wisdom 

Actll. CATO. 19 

Caio. Nay, more, tho' Cato's voice was ne'er em- 


To clear the guilty, and to varnish crimes, 
Mvself will mount the rostrum in his favour, 
And strive to gain his pardon from the people. 

Dec. A style like this becomes a conqueror. 

Cato. Decius, a style like this becomes a Roman* 

Dec. What is a Roman, that is Caesar's foe ? 

Cato. Greater than Caesar : he's a friend to virtue. 

Dec. Consider, Cato, you're in Utica, 
And at the head of your own little senate j 
You don't now thunder in thecapitol, 
With all the mouths of Rome to second you. 

Cato. Let him consider that who drives us hither. 
'Tis Caesar's sword has made Rome's senate little, 
And thinn'd its ranks. Alas! thy dazzled eye 
Beholds this man in a false glaring light; 
Which conquest and success have thrown upon him ; 
Did'st thou but view him right, thou'dst see him black 
W'ith murder, treason, sacrilege, and crimes, 
That strike my soul with horror but to name 'em. 
I know thou look'st on me, as on a wretch 
Beset with ills, and cover'd with misfortunes! 
Bui, by the gods 1 swear, millions of worlds 
Sh ''.,'d never buy me to be like that Caesar. 

Dec. Does Cato send this answer back to Caesar, 
For all his gen'rous cares and profler'd friendship? 

Cato. His cares for me are insolent and vain : 
Presumptuous man! the gods take care of Cato. 
Wou'd Caesar shew the greatness of his soul, 
Bid him employ his care for these my friends, 
And make good use of his ill-gotten pow'r, 
By shelt'ring men much better than himself. 

Dec. Your high unconquer'd heart makes you forget 
You are a man. You rush on your destruction. 
But I have done. When I relate hereafter 
The tale of this unhappy embassy, 
All Rome will be in tears. [Exit Decius. 

Sem. Cato, we thank thee. 
The mighty genius of immortal Rome 

^20 CATO. Act II. 

Speaks in thy voice; thy soul breathes liberty. ' 
Caesar will shrink to hear the words thou utter'st, 
And shudder in the midst of all his conquests. 

Luc. The senate owns its gratitude to Cato, 
Who with so great a soul consults its safety, 
And guards ouv lives while he neglects his own. 

Sem. Sempronius gives no thanks on this account. 
Lucius seems fond of life; but what is life? 
'Tis not to stalk about and draw fresh air 
From time to time, or gaze upon the sun ; 
'Tis to be free. When liberty is gone, 
Life grows insipid, and has lost its relish. 
Oh, could my dying hand but lodge a sword 
In Caesar's bosom, and revenge my country ! 
By Heav'ns 1 could enjoy the pangs of death, 
And smile in agony. 

Luc. Others, perhaps, 

May serve their country with as warm a zeal, 
Though 'tis not kindled into so much rage. 

Sem. This sober conduct is a mighty virtiK 
In lukewarm patriots. 

Cato. Come; no more, Sempronius, 
All here are friends to Rome, and to each other. 
Let us not weaken still the weaker side 
By our divisions. 

Sem. Cato, mv resentments 
Are sacrific'd to Rome I stand reprov'd. 

Cato. Fathers, 'tis time you come to a resolve. 

Luc. Cato, we all go into your opinion. 
Caesar's behaviour has convinc'd the senate 
We ought to hold it out till terms arrive. 

Sem. We ought to hold it out till death ; but, Cato, 
My private voice is drown'd amidst the senate's. 

Cato. Then let us rise, my friends, and strive to fill 
This little interval, this pause of life, 
(While yet our liberty and fates are doubtful) 
With resolution, friendship, Roman bravery, 
And all the virtues we can crowd into it; 
That Heav'n may say it ought to be prolong'd. 
Fathers, farewell The young Numidian prince 

Act 11. CATO. 21 

Comes forward, and expects to know our counsels. 

[Exeunt Senators. 
Enter JUBA. 

Juba, the Roman senate has resolv'd, 
Till time gives better prospects, still to keep 
The sword unsheath'd, and turn its edge on Caesar. 

Jul. The resolution fits a Roman senate. 
ButCato, lend me for a while thy patience, 
And condescend to hear a young man speak. 
My father, when, some days before his death, 
He order'd me to march for LJtica, 
(Alas ! I thought not then his death so near !) 
Wept o'er me, press'd me in his aged arms, 
And, as his griefs gave way, My son, said he, 
Whatever fortune shall befall thy father, 
Be Cato's friend ; he'll train thee up to great 
And virtuous deeds ; do but observe him well, 
Thou'ltshun misfortunes, or thou'lt learn to bear 'em. 

Cato. Juba, thy father was a worthy prince, 
And merited, alas ! a better fate 3 
But Heav'n thought otherwise. 

Jul. My father's fate, 
In spite of all the fortitude that shines 
Before my face in Cato's great example, 
Subdues my soul, and fills my eyes with tears. 

Cato. It is an honest sorrow, and becomes thee. 

Jul. My father drew respect from foreign climes : 
The kings of Afric sought him for their friend j 
" Kings far remote, that rule, as fame reports, 
" Behind the hidden sources of the Nile, 
" In distant worlds, on t'other side the sun;" 
Oft have their black ambassadors appear'd, 
Loaden with gifts, and filled the courts of Zama, 

Cato. I am no stranger to thy father's greatness. 

Jul. I would not boast the greatness of my father, 
But point out more alliances to Cato. 
Had we not better leave this Utica, 
To arm Numidia in our cause, and court 
The assistance of my father's powerful friends ; 
Did they know Cato, our remotest kings, 

32 CATO. Act IL 

Would pour embattled multitudes about him ; 
Their swarthy hosts would darken ail our plain?. 
Doubling the native horror of the war, 
And making death more grim. 

Cato. And canst thou think 
Cato will fly before the sword of Caesar ! 
Reduc'd, like Hannibal, to seek relief 
From court to court, and wander up and down. 
A vagabond in Afric. 

Jub. Cato, perhaps 

I'm too officious; but my forward cares 
Would fain preserve a life of so much value. 
My heart is wounded when I see such virtue 
Afflicted by the weight of such misfortunes. 

Cato. Thy nobleness of soul obliges me. 
But know, young prince, that valour soars above 
What the world calls misfortune and affliction. 
These are not ills; else would they never fall 
On Heav'n's first fav'rites, and the best of men. 
The gods, in bounty, work up storms about us, 
That give mankind occasion to exert 
Their hidden strength, and throw out into practice 
Virtues that shun the day, and lie conceal'd 
In the smooth seasons and the calms of life. 

Jub. I'm charm'd whene'er thou talk'st; I pant for 

And all mv soul endeavours at perfection. 

Cato. Dost thou love watchings, abstinence, and 


Laborious virtues all ? Learn them from Cato ; 
Success and fortune must thou learn from Caesar. 

Jub. The best good fortune that can fall on Juba, 
The whole success at which my heart aspires 
Depends on Cato. 

Cato What does Juba say? 
The words confound me. 

Jub 1 would fain retract them, 
Give 'em me back again: they aim'd at nothing. 

Cato. Tell me thy wish, young prince; make not 
mv ear 

Act II. CATO- 23 

A stranger to thy thoughts. 

Jub. Oh! they're extravagant ; 
Still let me hide them. 

Cato. What can Juba ask 
That Cato will refuse ? 

Jub- 1 fear to name it. 
Marcia inherits all her father's virtues. 

Cato. What would'st thou say? 

Jub. Cato, thou bast a daughter. 

Cato. Adieu, young prince : I would not hear a 


Should lessen thee in my esteem. Remember 
The hand of Fate is over us, and Heav'n 
Exacts severity from all our thoughts, 
It is not now a time to talk of ought 
Bat chains, or conquest; liberty, or death. [Exit. 

Syph. How's this, my prince! What, cover'd with 

confusion ? 

You look as if yon stern philosopher 
Had just now chid you. 

Jub. Syphax, I'm undone! 

Syph. I know it well. 

Jub. Calo thinks meanly of me. 

Syph. And so will all mankind. 

Jub. I've open'd to him 
The weakness of my soul, my love for Marcia. 

Syph. Cato's a proper person to entrust 
A love- tale with. 

Jub. Oh, I could pierce my heart, 
My foolish heart. Was ever wretch like Juba ! 

Syph. Alas, my prince, how are you chang'd of late ! 
I've known young Juba rise before the sun, 
To beat the thicket where the tiger slept, 
Or seek the lion in his dreadful haunts : 
How did the colour mount into your cheeks, 
When first you rous'd him to the chase ! I've seen 


Ev'nin the Lybian dog-days, hunt him down, 
Then charge him close, provoke him to the rage 

24 CATO. Act 

Of fangs and claws, and stooping from your horse, 
Rivet the panting savage to the ground. 

Jul. Pr'ythee no more. 

Syph. How would the old king smile 
To see you weigh the paws, when tipp'd with gold, 
And throw the shaggy spoils about your shoulders ! 

Jub. Syphax, this old man's talk (though honey- 


In every word) wou'd now lose all its sweetness. 
Cato's clispleas'd, and Marcia lost for ever. 

Syph. Young prince, I yet could give you good ad- 
Marcia might still he yours. 

Jub. What say'st thou, Syphax? 
By Heav'ns, thou turn'st me all into attention. 

Syph. Marcia might still he yours. 

Jub. As how, dear Syphax? 

Syph. Juba commands Numidia's hardy troops. 
Mounted on steeds unus'd to the restraint 
Of curbs or bits, and fleeter than the winds. 
Give but the word, we'll snatch this damsel up, 
And bear her off. 

Jub. Can such dishonest thoughts 
Rise up in man? Wouldst thou seduce my youth 
To do an act that would destroy mine honour? 

Syph. Gods, I could tear my hair to hear you talk! 
Honour's a fine imaginary notion, 
That draws in raw and unexperienc'd men, 
To real mischiefs, vrhile they hunt a shadow. 

Jub. Wouldst thou degrade thy prince into a ruffian? 

Syph. The boasted ancestors 'of those great men, 
Whose virtues you admire, were all such ruffians. 
This dread of nations, this almighty Rome, 
That comprehends in her wide empire's bounds 
All under Heav'n, was founded on a rape ; 
YourScipios, Caesars, Pompeys, and your Cato's 
(The gods on earth), are all the spurious blood 
Of violated maids, of ravish'd Sabines. 

Jub. Svphax, I fear that hoary head of thine 
Abounds t/)0 much in our Numidian wiles. 

Act II. CATO. 6 

Syph. Indeed, my prince, you want to know the 


You have not read mankind ; your youth admires 
The throes and swellings of a Roman soul, 
Cato's bold flights, th' extravagance of virtue. 

Jub. If knowledge of the world makes men per- 
May Juba ever live in ignorance! 

Syph. Go, go; you're young. 

Jub. Gods, must I tamely bear 
This arrogence unanswer'd! Thou'rt a traitor, 
A false old traitor. 

Syph. I have gone too far. [Aside. 

Jt>. Cato shall know the baseness of thy soul. 

Syph. I must appease this storm or perish in it. 

Young prince, behold these locks, that are grown 

Beneath a helmet in your father's battles. 

Jub. Those locks shall ne'er protect thy insolence. 

Syph. Must one rash word, th' infirmity of age, 
Throw down the merit of my better years? 
This the reward of a whole life of service! 
Curse on the boy ! how steadily he hear me ! 


Jul. Is it because the throne of my forefathers 
Still stands unfill'd, and that Numidfa's crown 
Hangs doubtful yet whose head it shall inclose, 
Thou thus presum'st to treat thy prince with scorn? 

Syph. Why will you rive my' heart with such ex- 
pressions ? 

Does not old Syphax follow you to war ? 
What are his aims? Why does he load with darts 
His trembling hand, and crush beneath a casque 
His wrinkled brows ? What is it he aspires to ? 
Is it not this? to shed the slow remains, 
His last poor ebb of blood, in your defence? 

Jub. Syphax, no more? 1 would not hear you talk. 

Syph. Not hear me talk ! what, when my faith to 

26 CATO. Act 1L 

My royal master's son, is call'd in question? 
My prince may strike me dead, and I'll be dumb j 
But whilst 1 live I must not hold my tongue, 
And languish out old age in his displeasure. 

Jul). Thou know'st the way too well into my heart, 
1 do believe thee loyal to thy" prince. 

Syph. What greater instance can I give? I've offer'd 
To do an action which my soul abhors, 
And gain you whom you love, at any price. 

Jul. Was this thy motive ? 1 have been too hasty. 

Syph. And 'tis for this my prince has call'd me 

Jul. Sure thou mistak'st ; 1 did not call thee so. 

Syph. You did, indeed, myjnince, you call'd me 


ISay, further, threatcn'd you'd complain to Cato. 
Of what, my prince, would you complain to Cato? 
That Syphax loves you, and would sacrifice 
His life, nay, more, his honour, in your service. 

Jut. Syphax, 1 know thou lov'st me; but indeed 
Thy zeal for Juba carried thee too far. 
Honour's a sacred tie ; the law of kings, 
The noble mind's distinguishing perfection, 
That aids and strengthens virtue where it meets her, 
And imitates her actions where she is not : 
It ought not to be sported with. 

Syph. By Heav'ns, 

I, 'in ravish'd when you talk thus,, though you chide me! 
Alas! I've hitherto been used to think 
A blind official zeal to serve my king, 
The ruling principle, that ought to burn 
And quench all others in a subject heart. 
Happy the people who preserve their honour 
By the same duties that oblige their prince. 

Jul. Syphax, thou now beginn'st to speak thyself. 
Numidia's grown a scorn among the nations, 
For breach of public vows. Our Punic faith 
Is infamous and branded to a proverb. 
Syphax, we'll join our cares, to purge away 
Our country's crimes, and clear ner reputation. 

Act II. CATO. 27 

Syph. Believe me, prince, yon make old Syphax 


To hear you talk But 'tis with tears of joy. 
If e'er vour father's crown adorn your brows, 
Numic!ia will be blest by Cato's lectures. 

JuL. Syphax, thy hand ; we'll mutually forget 
The warrnlfi of youth, and frowardness of age ; 
Thy prince esteems thy worth, and loves thy person. 
If e'er the sceptre come into my hand, 
Syphax shall stand the second in my kingdom. 

Syph. Why will you overwhelm my age with kind- 
My joys grow burdensome, I shan't support it. 

Jub. Syphax, farewell. I'll hence, and try to find 
Some blest occasion that may set me right 
In Cato's thoughts. I'd rather have that man 
Approve my deeds, than worlds for my admirers. \_Ex. 

Syph. Young men soon give, and soon forget af- 
fronts ; 

Old age is slow in both A false old traitor! 
These words, rash boy, may chance to cost thee dear. 
My heart had still some foolish fondness for thee : 
But hence, 'tis gone J I give it to the winds : 
Caesar, I'm wholly thine. 

All hail, Sempronius! 
Well, Cato's senate is resolv'd to wait 
The fury of a siege before it yields. 

Sem. Syphax, we both were on the verge of fate : 
Lucius declar'd for peace, and terms were ofler'd 
To Cato by a messenger from Cassar. 
$hou'd they submit ere our designs are ripe, 
We both must perish in the common wreck, 
Lost in the gen'ral undistinguish'd ruin. 

Syph. But how stands Cato? 

Sem. Thou hast seen mount Atlas : 
Whilst storms and tempests thunder on its brows, 
And oceans break their billows at its feet, 
It stands unmov'd, and glories in its height : 
{Such is that haughty man ; his tow'ring soul^ 
E 2 


28 CATO. Act II. 

'Midst all the shocks and injuries of fortune, 
Rises superior, and looks down on Caesar. 

Syph. But what's this messenger? 

Sem. I've practis'd with him, 
And found a means to let the victor know 
That Syphax and Sempronius are his friends. 
But let me now examine in my turn : 
Is J uba fix'd ? 

Syph. Yes but it is to Cato. 
I've try'd the force of ev'ry reason on him, 
Sooth'd and caress'd ; been angry, sooth'd again ; 
Laid safety, life, and int'rest in his sight. 
But all are vain, he scorns them all for Cato. 

Sem. Come, 'tis no matter ; we shall do without 


He'll make a pretty figure in a triumph, . 
And serve to trip before the victor's chariot. 
Syphax, I now may hope thou hast forsook 
Thy Juba's cause, and wishest Marcia mine. 

Syph. May she be thine as fast as thou wouldst 
have her. 

Sem. Syphax, I love that woman ; though I curse 
Her and myself, yet, spite of me, 1 love her. 

Syph. Make Cato sure, and ^ive up Utica, 
Caesar will ne'er refuse thee such a trifle. 
But are thy troops prepar'tl for a revolt? 
Does the sedition catcu from man to man, 
And run among the ranks? 

Sem. All, all is ready, 

The factious leaders are our friends, that spread 
Murmurs and discontents among the soldi 1 rs ; 
They count their toilsome inarches, long taiigues, 
Unusual fastings, and wi'l bear no more 
This medley of philosophy and war. 
Within an they'll storm the senate-house. 

$yph. Mean while I'll draw up my Numidian troops 
Within the square to exercise their arms, 
And as I see occasion, favour thee. 
1 laugh to see how your unshaken Cato, 
Will look aghast, while unforeseen destruction 

Act III. CATO. 2p 

Pours in upon him thus from every side. 

So, where our wide Numidian wastes extend, 
Sudden, th' impetuous hurricanes descend, 
Wheel through the air, in circling eddies play, 
Tear up the sands, and sweep whole plains away. 
The helpless traveller, with wild surprise, 
Sees the dry desart all around him rise, 
And smoth'er'd in the dusty whirlwind, dies. [Exeunt. 



Marcus. THAKTKS to my stars I have not rang'd about 
The wilds oflife, ere I could find a friend; 
Nature first pointed out my Portius to me, 
And early taught me, by her secret force, 
To love thy person, ere I knew thy merit, 
Till what was instinct, grew up into friendship. 

Por. Marcus, the friendships of the world are oft 
Confed'racies in vice, or leagues of pleasure; 
Ours has severest virtue for its basis, 
And such a friendship ends not but with life. 

Marc. Portius, thou know'st my soul in all its weak- 

Then pr'ythee spare me on its tender side. 
Indulge me but in love, my other passions 
Shall rise and fall by virtue's nicest rules. 

Por. When love's well-tim'd, 'tis not a fault to love. 
The strong, the brave, the virtuous, and the wise, 
Sink in the soft captivity together. 
I would not urge thee to dismiss thy passion, 
(I know 'twere vain) but to suppress its force, 
Till better times may make it look more graceful. 

Marc. Alas ! thou talk'st like one who never felt 
Th' impatient throbs and longings of a soul 
That pants and reaches after distant good. 
A lover does not live by vulgar time : 
Believe me, Portius, in my Lucia's absence 
Life hangs upon me, and becomes a burden ; 

30 CATO. Act 11 L 

And yet, when I behold the charming maid, 
I'm ten times mere undone ; while hope and fear, 
And grief, and rage, and lore, rise up at once, 
And with variety of pain distract me. 

Por. What can thy Portius do to give thee help ? 

Marc. Portius, thou oft enjoy 'st the fair one's pre- 
sence ; 

Then undertake my cause, and plead it to her 
With all the strength and heat of eloquence 
Fraternal love and friendship can inspire. 
Tell her thy brother languishes to death, 
And fades away, and withers in his bloom ; 
That he forgets his sleep, and loathes his food, 
That youth, and health, and war, are joyless to him ; 
Describe his anxious days, and restless nights, 
And all the torments that thou see'st me suffer. 

Por. Marcus, I beg thee give me not an office 
That suits with me so ill. Thou know'st my temper. 

Marc. Wilt thon behold me sinking in my woes, 
And wilt thou not reach out a friendly arm, 
To raise me from amidst this plunge of sorrows? 

Por. Marcus, thou canst not ask what I'd refuse. 
But here, believe me, I've a thousand reasons 

Marc. I know thou'lt say my passion's out of seaoon, 
That Cato's great example and misfortunes 
Should both conspire to drive it from my thoughts. 
But what's oil this to one that loves like me ? 
O Portius, Portius, from my soul I wish 
Thou didst but know thyself what 'tis to love! 
Then wouldst thou pity and assist thy brother. 

Por. What should I do ! If I disclose my passion, 
Our friendship's at an end ; if I conceal it, 
The world will call me false to a friend and brother. 


Marc. But see where Lucia, at her wonted hour, 
Am v.1 the cool of yon high marble arch, 
Enjffys the noon-day breeze! Observe her, Portius ; 
That" face, that shape, those eyes, that heav'n of 

beauty ! 
Observe her well, and blame me if thou canst. 




Act III. CATO. 31 

Por. She sees us, and advances 

Marc. I'll withdraw, 

And leave you for a while. Remember, Portius, 
Thy brother's life depends upon thy tongue. [Exit. 
Enter LUCIA. 

Luc. Did I not see your brother Marcus here? 
Why did he fly the place, and shun my presence? 

Por. Oh, Lucia, language is too faint to shew 
His rage of love ; it preys upon his life ; 
He pines, he sickens, he despairs, he dies : 
" His passions and his virtues lie confus'd 
" And mixt together in so wild a tumult, 
** That the whole man is quite disfigur'd in him. 
" Heav'ns ! would one think 'twere possible for love 
" To make such ravage in a noble soul !" 
Oh, Lucia, I'm distress'd ; my heart bleeds for him : 
Ev'n now, while thus I stand blest in thy presence, 
A secret damp of grief conies o'er my thoughts, 
And I'm unhappy, though thou smil'st upon me. 

Luc. How wilt thou guard thy honour in the shock 
Of love and friendship? Think betimes, my Portius, 
Think how the nuptial tie, that might ensure 
Our mutual bliss, would raise to such a height 
Thy brother's griefs, as might perhaps destroy him. 

Por. Alas, poor youth ? What dost thou think, my 


His gen'rous, open, undesigning heart 
Has begg'd his rival to solicit for him : 
Then do not strike him dead with a denial ; 
But hold him up in life, and cheer his soul 
With the faint glimm'ring of a doubtful hope ; 
Perhaps when we have pass'd these gloomy hours, 
And weather'd out the storm that beats upon us 

Luc. No, Portius, no; I see thy sister's te-\rs, 
Thy father's anguish, and thy brother's death, 
In the pursuit of our ill-fated loves : 
And Portius, here I swear, to Heav'n I swear, 
To Heav'n and all the powers that judge mankind, 
Never to mix my plighted hands with thine, 
While such a cloud of mischief hangs upon us, 

32 CATO. Act III. 

But to forget our loves, and drive thee out 
From all my thoughts as far as I am able. 

Por. What hast thou said ? I'm thunderstruck- 
Those hasty words, or I am lost for ever. 

Luc. Has not the vow already past my lips ? 
The gods have heard it, and 'tis seal'd in Heav'n. 
May all the vengeance that was ever pour'd 
On perjur'd heads o'erwhelm me if I break it. 

Por. Fix'd in astonishment, 1 gaze upon thee, 
Like one just blasted by a stroke from Heav'n, 
Who pants for breath, and stiffens yet alive, 
In dreadful looks ; a monument of wrath! 

*' Luc. At length I've acted my severest part ; 
" I feel the woman breaking in upon me, 
(< And melt about my heart; my tears will flow. 
" But, oh, I'll think no more! the hand of Fate 
" Has torn thee from me, and I must forget thee. 

" Por. Hard-hearted, cruel maid! 

t( Luc. Oh, stop those sounds, 
" Those killing sounds ! Why dost thou frown upoa 

" me? 

" My blood runs cold, my heart forgets to heave, 
" And life itself goes out at thy displeasure. 
" The gods forbid us to indulge our loves ; 
" But, oh ! I cannot bear thy hate and live. 

" Por. Talk- not of love ; thou never knew'st its 

" force. 

" I've been deluded, led into a dream 
" Of fancy 'd bliss. Oh, Lucia, cruel maid: 
( ' Thy dreadful vow, loaden with death, still sounds 
" In my stunned ears. What shall I say or do ? 
" Quick let us part ! Perdition's in thy presence, 
" And horror dwells about thee ! Ha ! she faints ! 
" Wretch that I am, what has my rashness done ! 
" Lucia, thou injur'd innocence! thou best 
" And loveliest of thy sex ! awake, my Lucia, 
" Or Portius rushes on his swoid to join thee. 
" Her imprecations reach not to the tomb, 
" They shut not out society in death 

Act 111. CATO. 33 

'* But, ah, she moves, life wanders up and d^wn 
*' Through all her face, and lights up every charm. 

" Luc. Oh, Portius, was this well to frown on her 
" That lives upon thy smiles? To call in doubt 
f * The faith of one expiring at thy feet, 
" That loves thee more than ever woman lov'd? 
*' What do I say? My half-recovered sense 
" Forgets the vow in which my soul was bound. 
" Destruction stands betwixt us: we must part. 

" Por. Name not the word j my frighted thoughts 

*' run back, 
" And startle into madness at the sound. 

Luc. " What wouldst thou have me do? Consider 


" The train of ills our love would draw behind it." 
Think, Portius, think thou seest thy dying brother, 
Stabb'd at his heart, and all besmear'd with blood, 
Storming at Heav'ri and thee 1 Thy awful sire 
Sternly demands the cause, th' accursed cause 
That robs him of his son : poor Marcia trembles, 
Then tears her hair, and frantic in her griefs, 
Calls out on Lucia. What could Lucia answer, 
Or how stand up in such a scene of sorrow? 

Por. To my confusion and eternal grief, 
I must approve the sentence that destroys me. 
" The mist that hung upon my mind, clears up j 
" And now, athwart the terrors that thy vow 
" Has planted round thee, thou appear'st most fair, 
" More amiable, and risest in thy charms. 
" Loveliest of women ! Heav'n is in thy soul ; 
" Beauty and virtue shine for ever round thee, 
" Bright'ning each other : thou art all divine." 

Luc. Portius, no more j thy words shout through 

my heart, 

Melt my resolves, and turn me all to love. 
Why are those tears of fondness in thy eyes ? 
Why heaves thy heart? Why swells thy soul with 

sorrow ? 

It softens me too much farewell, my Portius j 
Farewell, though death is in the word for ever. 

S4 CATO. Act 111. 

For. Stay, Lucia, stay! What dost thou say? Forever? 

Luc. Have I not sworn? If, Portias, thy success 
Must throw thy brother on his fate, farewell 
Oh, how shall I repeat the word! for ever. 

Por. "/Thus o'er the dying lamp th' unsteady flame 
" Hangs quiv'ring on a point, leaps off by fits, 
" And falls again, as loth to quit its hold." 
Thou must not go ; my soul still hovers o'er thee, 
And can't get loose. 

Luc. If the firm Portius shake 
To hear of parting, think what Lucia suffers ! 

Por. 'Tis true, unruffled and serene, I've met 
The common accidents of life ; but here 
Such an unlook'd for storm of ills fall on me, 
It beats down all my strength. I cannot bear it. 
We must not part. 

Luc. What dost thou say ? Not part ! 
Hast thou forgot the vow that I have made ? 
Are not there heav'ns and gods that thunder o'er us ? 
But see, thy brother Marcus bends this way : 
I sicken at the sight. Once more, farewell, 
Fare well, and know ihou wrong'st me, if thou think'st 
Ever was love, or ever grief like mine. [Exit Lucia. 
Enter MARCUS. 

Marc. Portius, what hopes ? How stands she ? Am 

I doom'd 
To life or death? 

Por. What would'st thou have me say? 

Marc. What means this pensive posture? Thou 

Like one amaz'd and terrify'd. 

Por. I've reason. 

Marc. Thy down-cast looks, and thy disorder'd 


Tell me my fate. I ask'd not the success 
My cause has found. 

Por. I'm griev'd I undertook it. 

Marc. What ? does the barbarous maid insult my 

My aching heart, and triumph in my pains ? 

Act III. CATO. 35 

That I could cast her from my thoughts for ever! 

Por. Away, you're too suspicious in your griefs j 
Lucia, though sworn never to think of love, 
Compassionates your pains, and pities you. 

Marc. Compassionates my pains, and pities me ! 
What is compassion, when 'tis void of love ? 
Fool that I was to choose so cold a friend 

To urge my cause ! Compassionates my pains ! 

Pry'thee, what art, what rhet'ric didst thou use 
To gain this mighty boon ? She pities me ! 
To one that asks the warm returns of love, 
Compassion's cruelty, 'tis scorn, 'tis death 

Por. Marcus, no more, have I deserved this treat- 
Marc. What have I said ! Oh, Portius, oh, forgive 

me ! 

A soul exasperated in ills falls out 
With every thing, its friend, itself but hah ! 
What means that shout, big with the sounds of war? 
What new alarm ? 

Por. A second, louder yet, 
Swells in the wind, and comes more full upon us. 

Marc. Oh, for some glorious cause to fall in battle I 
Lucia, them hast undone me; thy disdain 
Has broke mv heart : 'tis death must give me ease. 
Por. Quick, let us hence. Who knows if Cato's 


Stands sure ? Oh, Marcus, I am warm'd ; my heart 
Leaps at the trumpet's voice, and burns for glory. 


Enter SEMPRONIUS, with the Leaders of the Mutiny. 
Sem. At length the winds are rais'd, the storm 

blows high ; 

Be it your care, my friends, to keep it up 
In its full fury, and direct it right, 
Till it has spent itself on Cato's head. 
Meanwhile, I'll herd amongst his friends, and seem 
One of the number, that whate'er arrive, 
My friends and fellow-soldiers may be safe. [Exit. 
1st Lead. We arc all safe, Sempronius is our friend. 

36 CATO. Act 1 If. 

Sempronius is as brave a man as Cato. 
But nark ! he enters. Bear up boldly to him : 
Be sure you beat him down, and bind him fast. 
This day will end our toils, and give us rest : 
Fear nothing, for Sempronius is our friend. 

Re-enter SEMPRONIUS, with CATO, Lucius, 

Cato. Where are those bold intrepid sons of war, 
That greatly turn their backs upon their foe, 
And to their general send a brave defiance ? 

Sem. Curse on their dastard souls, they stand ast 
nish'd. [Aside. 

Cato. Perfidious men ! And will you thus dishonour 
Your past exploits, and sully all your wars ? 
Do you confess 'twas not a zeal for Rome, 
Nor love of liberty, nor thirst of honour, 
Drew you thus far ; but hopes to share the spoil 
Of conquer'd towns, and plunder'd provinces ? 
Fir'd with such motives, you do well to join 
With Cato's foes,, and follow Caesar's banners. 
Why did I 'scape th' envenom'd aspic's rage, 
And all the fiery monsters of the desart, 
To see this day? Why could not Cato fall 
Without your guilt? Behold, ungrateful men, 
Behold my bosom naked to your swords, 
And let the man that's injur'd strike the blow. 
Which of you all suspects that he is wrong'd ? 
Or thinks he suffers greater ills than Cato ? 
Am I distinguished from you but by toils, 
Superior toils, and heavier weight of cares ? 
Painful pre-eminence ! 

Sem. By Heav'ns they droop ! 
Confusion to the villains ; all is lost. [Aside. 

Cato. Have you forgotten Lybia's burning waste, 
Its barren rocks, parch'd earth, and hills of sand, 
Its tainted air, and all its broods of poison? 
W 7 ho was the first to explore th' untrodden path, 
When life was hazarded in every step ? 
Or, fainting in the long laborious march, 
W ; hen on the banks of an unlook'd for stream 

Act 111. CATO. 37 

You sunk the river with repeated draughts, 
Who was the last of all your host that thirsted ? 

Sem. If some penurious source by chance appear'd, 
Scanty of waters, when you scoop'd it dry, 
And otfer'd the full helmet up to Cato, 
Did he not dash th' untasted moisture from him ? 
Did he not lead you through the mid-day sun, . 
And clouds of dust? Did not his temples glow 
In the same sultry winds, and scorching heats ? 

Cato. Hence, worthless men ! henee ! and com- 
plain to Caesar, 

You could not undergo the toil of war, 
Nor bear the hardships that your leader bore. 

Lucius. See, Cato, see the unhappy men ; they weep ; 
Fear and remorse, and sorrow for their crime, 
Appear in every look, and plead for mercy. 

Cato. Learn to be honest men, give up your leaders, 
And pardon shall descend on all the rest. 

Sem. Cato, commit these wretches to my care : 
First let 'em each be broken on the rack, 
Then, with what life remains, impal'd and left 
To writhe at leisure round the bloody stake, 
There let 'em hang, and taint the southern wind. 
The partners of their crime will learn obedience, 
When they look up and see their fellow-traitors 
Stuck on a fork, and black'ning in the sun. 

"Luc. Sempronius, why, why wilt thou urge the 

" fate 
" Of wretched men ? 

" Sem. How ! wouldst thou clear rebellion ? 
*' Lucius (good man) pities the poor offenders 
*' That would imbrue their hands in Cato's blood. ' 

Cato. Forbear, Sempronius 1 see they suffer death, 
But in their deaths remember they are men ; 
Strain not the laws to make their tortures grievous. 
Lucius, the base degenerate age requires 
Severity, and justice in its rigour : 
This awes an impious, bold, offending world, 
Commands obedience, and gives force to laws. 
When by just vengeance gm'lty mortals perish, 


r 38 CATO. Act III. 

The gods behold the punishment with pleasure, 
And lay th' uplifted thunderbolt aside. 

Sem. Cato, I execute thy will with pleasure. 
Cato. Meanwhile we'll sacrifice to Liberty. 
Remember, O my friends, the laws, the rights, 
The gen'rous plan of pow'r deliver'd down 
From age to age, by your rcnown'd forefathers, 
(So dearly bought, the price of so much blood 
Oh, let it never perisji in your hands ! 
But piously transmit it to your children. 
Do thou, great Liberty, inspire our souls, 
And make our lives in thy possession happy, 
Or our deaths glorious in thy just defence. 

[Exeunt Cato, 

1st Lead. Sempronius, you have acted like yourself. 

One would have thought you had been half in earnest. 

Sem. Villain, stand off, base, grov'ling, worthless 

Mongrels in faction, poor faint-hearted traitors ! 

2dLcad. Nay, now you carry it too far, Sempronius; 
Throw oti the mask, there are none here but friends. 
Sem. Know, villains, when such paltry slaves pre- 

To mix in treason, if the plot succeeds, 
They're thrown neglected by : but if it fails, 
They're sure to die like dogs, as you shall do. 
Here, take these factious monsters, drag 'em forth 
To sudden death. 

1st Lead. Nay, since it comes to this 

Sem. Dispatch 'em quick; but first pluck out their 

Lest with their dying breath they sow sedition. 

[Exeunt guards with their leaders. 
Enter SYPHAX. 

Syph. Our first design, my friend, has prov'd abortive: 
Still there remains an after-game to play; 
My troops are mounted ; their Numidian steeds 
Snuff up the wind, and long to scour the desert: 
Let but Sempronius head us in our flight, 
Well force the gate where Mareus keeps his guard, 

Act IV. CATO. 3() 

And hew down ail ihat would oppose onr passage! 
A day will bring us into Caesar's camp. 

Sent. Confusion ! 1 have fail'd of half my purpose: 
Marcia, the charming Marcia's left behind ! 

tph. How! will Sempronius turn a woman's slave? 
m. Think not thy friend can ever feel the soft 
Unmanly warmth and tenderness of love. 
Syphax, I long to clasp that haughty maid, 
And bend her stubborn virtue to my passion : 
When I have gone thus far, I'd cast her off. 

Syph. Well said ! that's spoken like thyself, Sem- 

What hinders, then, but that thou find her out, 
And hurry her away by manly force. 

Sem. But how to gain admission ? For access 
Js given to none but Juba, and her brothers. 

Syph. Thou shall have Juba's dress, and Juba's 


The doors will open when Numidia's prince 
Seems to appear before the slaves that watch them. 

Sem. Heav'ns, what a thought is there! Marcia's 

my own ! 

How will mv bosom swell with anxious joy, 
W 7 hen I behold her struggling in my arms, 
With glowing beauty, and disorder'd charms, 
While fear and anger, with alternate grace, 
Pant in her breast, and vary in her face! 
So Pluto, seiz'd of Proserpine, convey'd 
To Hell's tremendous gloom th' affrighted maid, 
There grimly smil'd, pleas'd with the beauteous prize, 
Nor envied Jove his sunshine and his skies. [Exeunt. 


Enter LUCIA and MARCIA. 
Lucia. Now tell me, Marcia, tell me from thy soul, 
If thou believ'st 'tis possible for woman 
To suffer greater ills than Lucia suffers. 

Mar. Oh, Lucia, Lucia, might my big swoln heart 
Vent all its griefs, and give a loose to sorrow, 
F 2 

40 CATO. Act J 

Marcia could answer thee in sighs, keep pace 
With all thy woes, and count out tear for tear. 

Luc. I know thou'rt doom'd alike to be helov'd 
By Juba, and thy father's friend, Sempronius : 
But which of these has pow'r to charm like Portius! 

Mar. Still I must beg thee not to name Sempronius. 
Lucia, I like not that loud boist'rous man ; 
Juba, to all the bravery of a hero, 
Adds softest love, and more than female sweetness 
Juba might make the proudest of her sex, 
Any of womankind, but Marcia, happy. 

JLuc. And why not Marcia? Come, you strive in 


To hide your thoughts from one who knows too well 
The inward glowings of a heart in love. 

Mar. While Cato lives, his daughter has no right 
To love or hate, but as his choice directs. 

Luc. But should this father give you to Sempronins? 

Mar. I dare not think he will : but if he should 
Why wilt thou add to all the griefs I suffer, 
Imaginary ills, and fancy 'd tortures? 
J hear the sound oi feet They march this way ! 
Let us retire, and try if we can drown 
Each softer thought in sense of present danger: 
When love once pleads admission to our hearts, 
In spite of all the virtue we can boast 
The woman that deliberates is lost. [Exeunt. 

JEnter SEMPRONIUS, dressed like JUBA, with Nurni- 
dian guards. 

Sem. The deer is lodg'd, I've track'd her to hei 


Be sure you mind the word ; and when 1 give it, 
Rush in at once, and seize upon your prey. 
Let not her cries or tears have force to move you. 
How will the young Numidian rave to see 
His mistress lost! If ought could glad my soul, 
Beyond th' enjoyment of so bright a prize, 
'Twould be to torture that young gay barbarian. 
But hark ! what noise ! Death to my hopes ! 'tis he, 
'Tis Juba's self! there is but one way left 

Act IV. CATO. 41 

He must be murder'd, and a passage cut 

Through those his guards Hah, dastards, do you 

tremble ! 

Or act like men, or by yon azure heaven 

Enter JUBA. 

Jub. What do I see ? Who's this, that dares usurp 
The guards and habit of Numidia's prince 5 

Sem. One that was born to scourge thy arrogance, 
Presumptuous youth ! 

Jub. What can this mean ? Sempronius ! 

Sem. My sword shall answer thee. thy 


Jul. Nay, then beware thy own, proud, barbarous 
man. [Sem. Jails. His guards surrender. 
Son. Curse on my stars ! Am 1 then doom'd to fall 
By a boy's hand, disfigur'd in a vile 
Numidian dress, and for a worthless woman? 
Gods, I'm distracted! This my close of'life! 
Oh, for a peal of thunder that would make 
Earth, sea, and air, and Heaven, and Cato tremble ! 

Jub. With what a spring his furious soul broke 


And left the limbs still quiv'ring on the ground ! 
Hence let us carry off those slaves to Cato, 
That we may there at length unravel all 
This dark design, this mystery of fate. 

TJBxii Juba, with Prisoners, &c. 
Enter LUCIA and MARCIA. 
Luc. Sure 'twas the clash of swords ; my troubled 


Is so cast down, and sunk amidst its sorrows, 
It throbs with fear, and aches at every sound. 
Oh, Marcia, should thy brothers, for my sake 
I die away with horror at the thought. 

Mar. See, Lucia, see ! here's blood ! here's blood 

and murder ! 

Hah ! a Numidian ! Heav'n preserve the prince ! 
The face lies muffled up within the garment- 
But, hah, death to my sight! a diadem 
F 3 

42 CATO. Act IV. 

And royal robes! O gods! 'tis he, 'tis he ! 
" Juba, the loveliest youth that ever warm'd 
" A virgin's heart," Juba lies dead before us ! 

Luc. Now, Marcia, now call up to thy assistance 
Thy wonted strength and constancy of mind, 
Thou canst not put it to a greater trial. 

Mar. Lucia, look there, and wonder at my patience; 
Have I not cause to rave, and beat my breast, 
To rend my heart with grief, and run distracted ! 

Luc. What can 1 think or say to give thee comfort? 

Mar. Talk not of comfort, 'tis for lighter ills : 
Behold a sight that strikes all comfort dead. 

Enter JUBA, listening. 
I will indulge my sorrows, and give wav 
To all the pangs and fury of despair ; 
That man, that best of men, deserv'd it from me. 

Jub. What do I hear? And was the false Sempro- 


That best of men ? Oh, had I fall'n like him, . 
And cou'd have been thus mourn'd, I had been happy. 

" Luc. Here will I stand, companion in thy woes, 
" And help thee with my tears; when I behold 
" A loss like thine, I half forget my own. 

" Mar. 'Tis not in fate to ease my tortur'd breast. 
" This empty world, to me ajoyless desart, 
" Has nothing left to make poor Marcia happy. 

" Jub. I'm on the rack ! Was he so nearher'heart? 

" Mar. Oh, he was all made up of love and charms ! 
" Whatever maid could wish, or man admire : 
" Delight of every eye; when he appear'd, 
" A secret pleasure gladden'd all that saw him ; 
tl But when he talk'd, the proudest Roman blush'd 
" To hear his virtues, and old age grew worse. 

" Jub. 1 shall run mad " 

Mar. Oh, Juba! Juba! Juba! 

Jub. What means that voice ? Did she not call on 

Mar. " Why do I think on what he was ! he's dead 1 
** He's dead, and never knew how much I lov'd him." 
Lucia, who knows but his poor bleeding heart, 

Act l\ r . GATO. 43 

Amidst its agonies, remember'd Marcia, 
And the last words he utter'd, call'd me cruel! 
Alas ! he knew not, hapless youth, he knew not 
Marcia's whole soul was full of love and Juba ! 

Jub. Where am I ? Do I live ? or am indeed 
What Marcia thinks ? All is Elysium round me ! 

Mar. Ye dear remains of the most lov'd of men, 
Nor modesty nor virtue here forbid 
A last embrace, while thus 

Jub. See, Marcia, see [Throtving himself before her. 
The happy Juba lives ! He lives to catch 
That dear embrace, and to return it too 
With mutual warmth and eagerness of love. 

Mar. With pleasure and amaze I stand transported ! 
" Sure 'tis a dream! dead and alive at once!" 
If thou art Juba, who lies there ? 

Jul. A wretch, 

Disguis'd like Juba on a curs'd design. 
' ' The tale is long, nor have I heard it out: 
" Thy father knows it all." 1 could not bear 
To leave thee in the neighbourhood of death, 
But flew, in all the haste of love to find thee; 
I found thee weeping, and confess this once, 
Am rapt with joy to see my Marcia's tears. 

Mar. I've been surpriz'd in an unguarded hour, 
But must not now go back ; the love that lay 
Half smother'd in my breast, has broke through all 
Jts weak restraints, and burns in its full lustre. 
1 cannot, if I would, conceal it from thee. 

" Jub. I'm lost in ecstacy ; and dost thou love, 
" Thou charming maid 

" Mar. And dost thou live to ask it? 

" Jub. This, this is life indeed? life worth pre- 

" serving, 
" Such life as Juba never felt till now ! 

" Mar. Believe me, prince, before I thought thee 

" dead, 
*' I did not know myself how much I lov'd thee, 

" Jub. Oh, fortunate mistake! 

" Mar. O happy Marcia!" 

44 CATO. Act II'' 

Jul. My joy, my best belov'd, my only wish 1 
How shall 1 speak the transport of my soul ! 

Mar. Lucia, thy arm. "Oh, let me rest upon it ! 
" The vital blood that had forsook my heart, 
" Keturns again in such tumultuous tides, 
<f It quite o'ercomes me." Lead to my apartment 
Oh, prince, 1 blush to think what I have said, 
But fate has wrested the confession from me 3 
Go on, and prosper in the paths of honour. 
Thy virtue will excuse my passion for thee, 
Ana! make the gods propitious to our love. 

[Exeunt Mar. and Luc. 
Jul. I am so blest, I fear 'tis all a dream. 
Fortune, thou now hast made amends for all 
Thv past unkindness: I absolve my stars. 
What though Numidia add her conquer'd towns 
And provinces to swell the victor's triumph, 
Juba will never at his fate repine : 
Let Caesar have the world, if Marcia's mine. \_Exit. 
A March at a Distance. Enter CATO and Lucius. 
Luc. 1 stand astonish'd! What, the bold Sempronius, 
That still broke foremost thro' the crowd of patriots, 
As with a hurricane of zeal transported, 
And virtuous even to madness 

Calo. Trust me, Lucius, 
Our civil discords have produc'd such crimes, 
Such monstrous crimes ! I am surpris'd at nothing, 
Oh, Lucius, I am sick of this bad world! 
The day-light and the sun grow painful tome. 


But see where Portius comes : what means this haste ? 
Why are thy looks thus chang'd ? 

Por. My heart is griev'd, 
I bring such news as will afflict my father. 
Cato. Has Cassar shed more human blood ? 
Por. Not so. 

The traitor Syphax, as within the square 
He exercis'd his troops, the signal given, 
Flew oH at once with his Numidian horse 
To the South gate, where Marcus holds the watch j 

Act IV. CATO. 45 

I saw, and call'd to stop him, but in vain: 
He toss'd his arm aloft, and proudly told me, 
He would not stay and perish like Sempronius. 

Cato. Perfidious man ! But haste, my son, and see 
Thy brother Marcus acts a Roman's part. [r. Por. 
Lucius, the torrent bears too hard upon me : 
Justice gives way to force: the conquer'd world 
Is Caesar's! Cato has no business in it. 

Luc. While pride, oppression, and injustice reign, 
The world will still demand her Cato's presence. 
In pity to mankind submit to Caesar, 
And reconcile thy mighty soul to life. 

Cato. Would Lucius have me live to swell the 


Of Caesar's slaves, or by a base submission 
Give up the cause of Rome, and own a tyrant? 

Luc. The victor never will impose on Cato 
Ungenerous terms. His enemies confess 
The virtues of humanity are Caesar's. 

Calo. Curse on his virtues ! they've undone his 

Such popular humanity is treason 

Hut see young Juba ; the good youth appears 
Full of the guilt of his perfidious subjects ! 
Luc. Alas, poor prince! his fate deserves compassion. 
Enter JURA. 

Jub. I blush, and am confounded to appear 
Before thy presence, Cato. 

Cato. What's thy crime? 

Jul. I'm a Numidian. 

Cato. And a brave one too. Thou hast a Roman 

Jul. Hast thou not heard of my false countrymen ? 

Cato. Alas, young prince ! falsehood and fraud shoot 

up in every soil, 
The product of all climes Rome has its Caesars. 

Jub. *Tis generous thus to comfort the uisiress'd. 

Cato. Tisjust to give applause where 'tis deserv'd ; 
Thy virtue, prince, has stood the test of fortune, 
Like purest gold, that, tortur'd in the furnace, 

46 CATO. Act IV. 

Comes out more bright, and brings forth all its weight. 
Jub. What shall 1 answer thee? " My ravish'd heart 
" O'erflows with secret joy :" I'd rather gain 
Thy praise, O Cato ! than Numidia's empire. 

Por. Misfortune on misfortune! grief on grief! 
My brother Marcus 

Cato. Hah! what has he done ? 
Has he forsook his post ? Has he given way ? 
Did he look tamely on, and let'em pass? 

Por. Scarce had I left my father, but I met him 
Borne on the shields of his surviving soldiers, 
Breathless and pale, and cover'd o'er with wounds, 
Long, at the head of his few faithful friends, 
He stood the shock of a whole host of foes, 
Till obstinately brave, and bent on death, 
Oppress'd with multitudes, he greatly fell. 

Cato. I'm satisfy 'd. 

Por. Nor did he fall before 
His sword had pierc'd through the false heart of 


Yonder he lies. I saw the hoary traitor 
Grin in the pangs of death, and bite the ground. 

Cato. Thanks to the gods, my boy has done his duty. 
Portius, when 1 am dead, be sure you place 
His urn near mine. 

Por. Long may they keep asunder. 

Luc. Oh, Cato, arm thy soul with all its patience; 
See where the corpse of thy dead son approaches ! 
The citizens and senators, alarm 'd, 
Have gather'd round it, and attend it weeping. 
CATO, meeting the Corpse. 

Cato. Welcome, my son ! Here lay him down, my 


Full in my sight, that 1 may view at leisure 
The bloody corse, and count those glorious wounds. 
How beautiful is death, when earn'd by virtue! 
Who would not be that youth ? What pity is it 
That we can die but once to serve our country? 
Why sits this sadness on your brows, my friends? 

Act IV. CATO. 47 

1 should have blush'd if Cato's house had stood 
Secure, and flourish'd in a civil war. 
Portius, behold thy brother, and remember 
Thy life is not thy own, whew Home demands it. 

Jub. Was ever man like this ! 

Cato Alas, my friends, 
Why mourn you thus ! let not a private loss 
Afflict your hearts. 'Tis Rome requires our tears, 
The mistress of the world, the seat of empire, 
The nurse of heroes, the delight of gods, 
That humbled the proud tyrants of the earth, 
And set the nations free, liome is no more. 
Oh, liberty ! Oh, virtue ! Oh, my country! 

Jub. Behold that upright man ! Rome fills his eyes 
With tears that flow'd not o'er his own dead son. 


Cato. Whate'er the Roman virtue has subdu'd, 
The sun's whole course, the dav and year are Caesar's : 
For him the self-devoted Decii dy'd, 
The Fabii fell, and the great Scipio's conquer'd ; 
Ev'n Pompey fought for Cresar. Oh, my friends, 
How is the toil of late, the work of ages, 
The Roman empire falPn ! Oh, curst ambition ! 
Fall'n into Gaesar's hand! Our great forefathers 
Had left him nought to conquer but his country. 

Jub. While Cato lives Caesar will blush to see 
Mankind enslav'd, and be asham'd of empire. 

Cato. Caesar asham'd 5 has he not seen Pharsalia! 

Luc. Cato, 'tis time thou save thyself and us. 

Cato. Lose not a thought on me, I'm out of danger. - 
Heav'n will not leave me in the victor's hand. 
Caesar shall never say he conquer'd Cato. 
But, oh, my friends ~! your safety fills my heart 
With anxious thoughts: a thousand secret terrors 
Rise in my soul. How shall I save my friends ? 
'Tis now, O Cassar, I begin to fear thee! 

Luc. Caesar has mercy if we ask it of him. 

Cato. Then ask it, I conjure you ! let him knew" 
Whate'er was done against him, Cato did it. 
Add, if you please, thu 1 request it of him, 

48 CATO. Act W. 

" That I myself, with tears request it of him," 
Thf virtue of my friends may pass unpunish'd. 
Juba, my heart is troubled for thy sake. 
Should I advise thee to regain Numidia, 
Or seek the conqueror ? 

Jul. If J forsake thee 
Whilst I have life, may Heav'n abandon Juba ! 

Cato. Thy virtues, prince, if I foresee aright, 
Will one day make thee great ; at Rome hereafter, 
'Twill be no crime to have been Cato's friend. 
Portius, draw near : my son, thou oft has seen 
Thy sire engag'd in a corrupted state, 
Wrestling with vice and faction: now thou see'st m 
Spent, overpower'd, despairing of success; 
Let me advise thee to retreat betimes 
To thy paternal seat, the Sabine field. 
Where the great Censor toil'd with his own hands, 
And all our frugal ancestors were bless'd 
In humble virtues, and a rural life; 
There live retir'd, pray for the peace of Rome ; 
Content thyself to be obscurely good. 
When vice prevails, and impious men bear sway, 
The post of honour is a private station. 

Par. I hope my father does not recommend 
A life to Portius that he scorns himself. 

Cato. Farewell, my friends ! If there be any of you 
Who dare not trust the victor's clemency, 
Know there are ships prepar'd by my command 
(Their sails already op'ning to the winds), 
That shall convey you to the wish'd-for port. 
Is there anght else, my friends, I can do for you? 
The conqueror draws near. Once more farewell ! 
]f e'er we meet hereafter, we shall meet 
In happier climes, and on a safer shore, 
Where Caesar never shall approach us more. 

[Pointing to his dead son. 
There the brave youth, with love of virtue fir'd, 
Who greatly in his country's cause expir'd, 
Shall know he conquer'd. The -firm patriot there 
Who made the welfare of mankind his care, 


Act V. CATO. 49 

Though still by faction, vice, and fortune crost, 
Shall find the gen'rous labour was noi lost. \JLxeunt, 


CATO solus, sitting in a thoughtful posture : in his 
hand Plato's book on the immortality of the soul. 

A drawn sword on the table by him. 
IT must be so Plato, thou reason's! well 
Else whence this pleasing hope, this fond desire, 
This longing after immortality ? 
Or whence this secret dread, and inward horror, 
Of lulling into nought ? Why shrinks the soul 
Back on herself, and startles at destruction ? 
'Tis the divinity that stirs within us; 
Tis Heav'n itself that points out an hereafter, 
And intimates eternity to man. 
Eternity ! thou pleasing, dreadful thought ! 
Through what variety of untry'd being, 
Through what new scenes arid changes must we pass ? 
The wide, th' unbounded prospect lies before me; 
But shadows, clouds, and darkness rest upon it. 
Here will 1 hold. If there's a Power above, 
(And that there is all nature cries aloud 
Through all her works) he must delight in virtue ; 
And that which he delights in must be happy. 
But when ! or where this world was made for Caesar, 
I'm weary of conjectures this must end 'em. 

[Laying his hand on his sivord 
Thus am I doubly arm'd : my death and life, 
My bane and antidote, are both before me. 
This in a moment brings me to an end ; 
But this informs me 1 shall never die. 
The soul, secur'd in her existence, smiles 
At the drawn dagger, and defies its point. 
The stars shall fade away, the sun himself 
Grow dim with age, and nature sink in years; 
But thou shalt flourish in immortal youth, 
Unhurt amidst the war of elements, 
The wreck of matter, and the crush of worlds. 



50 CATO. 

What means this heaviness that hangs upon me? 
This lethargy that creeps through all my senses? 
Nature oppress'd, and harass'd out with care, 
Sinks down to rest. This once I'll favour her, 
That my awaken'd soul may take her flight, 
Renevv'd in all her strength, and fresh with life, 
An offering fit for Heav'n. Let guilt or fear 
Disturb man's rest, Cato knows neither of 'em, 
Indifferent in his choice to sleep or die. 

But hah ! who's this? my son ! Why this intrusion 1 s 
Were not my orders that I would be private? 
Why am I disobey'd ? 

Par. Alas, my father ! 

What means this sword, this instrument of death? 
Let me convey it hence. 

Cato. Rash youth, forbear! 

Por. Oh, let the pray'rs, th' entreaties of your 

Their tears, their common danger, wrest it from you ! 

Cato. Would'st thou betray me ? Wouldst thou 

give me up 

\ slave, a captive into Caesar's hands ? 
Retire, and learn obedience to a father, 
Or know, young man ! 

Por. Look not thus sternly on me ; 
You know I'd rather die than disobey you. 

Cato. 'Tis well! again I'm master of myself. 
Now, Caesar, let thy troops beset our gates, 
And bar each avenue; thy gath'ring fleets 
O'erspread the sea, and stop up every port; 
Cato shall open to himself a passage, 
And mock thy hopes 

Por. Oh, sir! forgive your son, 
Whose grief hangs heavy on him. Oh, my father ' 
How am I sure it is not the last time 
1 e'er shall call you so ! Be not displeas'd, 
Oh, be not angry with me whilst 1 weep, 
And, in the anguish of my heart, beseech you 
To quit the dreadful purpose of your soul ! 

Act f . CATO. 51 

Cato. Thou hast been ever good and dutiful. 

[Embracing him, 

Weep not, my son, all will be well again ; 
The righteous gods, whom I have sought to j,:i aee, 
Will succour Cato, and preserve his children. 
Por. Your words give com fort to my drooping heart. 
Cato. Portius, thou may'st rely upon my conduct; 
Thy father will not act what misbecomes him. 
But go, my son, and see if aught be wanting 
Among thy father's friends ; see them embark'd, 
And tell me if the winds and seas befriend them. 
My soul is quite weigh'd down with care, and asks 
The soft refreshment of a moment's sleep. % 

Por. My thoughts are more at ease, my heart re- 
vives. [Exit Cato. 

Enter MARCIA. 

Oh, Marcia! Oh, my sister, still there's hope! 
Our father will not cast away a life 
So needful to us all and to his country. 
He is retir'd to rest, and seems to cherish 
Thoughts full of peace. He has dispatch'd me hence 
With orders that besptak a mind con pos'd, 
And studious for the safety of his inei.d;-. 
Marcia, take care il.nt m-i e disturb his slumbers. [Ex. 

Mar Oh, ye immortal povv'rs! that guard the just, 
Watch round his, and soften his repose, 
Banish his sorrows, a no becalm his soul 
With easy dreams ; remember all his virtues, 
And shew mankind that Roodness is your care. 
Enter LDCIA. 

Luc. Where is your fai her, Marcia, where is Cato? 

Mar. Lucia, speak lov\ ; he is retir'd to rest. 
Lucia, I feel a gentle d .wiir,g hope 
Rise in my soul. We shall he happy still. 

Luc. Alas! 1 tremble when I think on Cato! 
In every view, in every thought I tremble ! 
Cato is stern and awful as a god ; 
He knows not how to w'rnk at human frailty, 
Or pardon weakness that he never felt. 

Mar. Though stern and awful to the foes of Rome., 
G 2 

r >2 CATO. Act V. 

He is all goodness, Lucia, always mild, 
" Compassionate and gentle to his friends, 
<c Fill'd with domestic tenderness, the best," 
The kindest father I have ever found him, 
Easy and good, and bounteous to my wishes. 

Luc. 'Tis his consent alone can make us bless'd ; 
Marcia, we both are equally involv'd 
In the same intricate, perplex'd distress. 
The cruel hand of fate that has destroy'd 
Thy brother Marcus, whom we both lament 

Mar. And ever shall lament unhappy youth ! 

Luc- Has set my soul at large, and now I stand 
Loose of my vow. But who knows Cato's thoughts ; 
Who knows how yet he may dispose of Portius, 
Or how he has determm'd of thyself? 

Mar. Let him but live, commit the rest to Heav'n. 
Enter Lucius. 

Lucius. Sweet are the slumbers of the virtuous man ! 
Oh, Marcia, I have seen thy godlike father! 
Some power invisible supports his soul, 
And bears it up in all its wonted greatness. 
A kind refresh ing sleep is fall'n upon him : 
I saw him stretch'd at ease, his fancy lost 
In pleasing dreams; as I drew near his couch, 
HesiniPd, and cried, Caesar, thou canst not hurt me. 

Mar. His mind still labours with some dreadful 

" Lucius. Lucia, why all this grief, these floods of 

" sorrow? 

" Dry up thy tears, my child ; we all are safe 
" While Cato lives his presence will protect us." 
Enter JUBA. 

Jub. Lucius, *the horsemen are return'd from view- 

The number, strength, and posture of our foes, 
Who now encamp within a short hour's march : 
On the high point of yon bright western tower 
We ken them from afar ; the setting sun 
Plays on their shining arms and burnish'd helmet5, 
And covers all the field with gleams of fire. 


Act V. CATO. ^ 53 

Lucius. Marcia, 'tis time we should awake thy father. 
Caesar is still disposal to give us terms, 
And waits at distance till he hears from Cato. 


Portius, thy looks speak somewhat of importance. 
What tidings dost thou bring? Methinks I see 
Unusual gladness sparkling in thy eyes. 

Por. As I was hasting to the port, where now 
My father's friends, impatient for a passage, 
Accuse the ling'ring winds, a sail arriv'd 
From Pompey's son, who through the realms of Spain 
Calls out for vengeance on his father's death, 
And rouses the whole nation up to arms. 
Were Cato at their head, once more might Rome 
Assert her rights, and claim her liberty. 
But, hark ! what means that groan ! Oh, give me way, 
And let me fly into rny father's presence. [Exit. 

Lucius. Cato, amidst his slumbers, thinks on Rome, 
And in the wild disorder of his sonl 
Mourns o'er his country. Hah! a second groan 
Heav'n guard us all ! 

Mar. Alas ! 'tis not the voice 
Of one who sleeps; 'tis agonizing pain, 
'Tis death is in that sound. 

Re enter PORTIUS. 

Por. Oh, sight of woe ! 
Ol, Marcia, what we fear'd is come to pass ! 
Cato is fallen upon his sword. 

Lucius. Oh, Portius, 
Hide all the horrors of thy mournful tale, 
And let us guess the rest.* 

Por. I've rais'd him up, 

And plac'd him in his chair, where, pale and faint, 
He gasps for breath, and as his life flows from him, 
Demands to see his friends. His servants weeping, 
Obsequious to his order, bear him hither. 

Mar. Oh, Heav'n ! assist me in this dreadful hour, 
To pay the last sad duties to my father. 

" Jul. These are thy triumphs, thy exploits, O 
" Caesar! 

G 3 

54 CATO. Act 

" Lucius. Now is Rome fall'n indeed !" 

[Cato brought in on a chair. 
Co/o. Here set me down 

Portias, come near me Are my friends embark'd? 

Can any thing be thought of for their service ? 
Whilst I yet live, let me not live in vain. 

Oh, Lucius, art thou here? Thou art too good - 

Let this our friendship live between our children, 

Make Portius happy in thy daughter Lucia. 

Alas ! poor man, he weeps ! Marcia, my daughter 

Oh, bend me forward ! Juba loves thee, Marcia. 

A senator of Rome, while Rome survival, 

Would not have match'd his daughter with a king, 

But Caesar's arms have thrown down all distinction j 

Whoe'er is brave and virtuous is a Roman 

I'm sick to death Oh, when shall 1 get loose 

From this vain world, th' abode of guilt and sorrow ? 

And yet, methinks, a beam of light breaks in 

On my departing soul. Alas, I fear 

I've been too hasty. Oh, ye Powers, that search 

The heart of man, and weigh his inmost thoughts, 

If I have done amiss, impute it not! 

The best may err ; but you are good, and Oh ! [Dies. 
Lucius. There fled the greatest soul that ever warm'd 
A Roman breast ; oh, Cato ! oh, my friend ! 
Thy will shall be religiously observ'd. 
But let us bear this awful corpse to Caesar, 
And lay it in his sight, that it may stand 
A fence betwixt us and the victor's wrath ; 
Cato, though dead, shall still protect his friends. 
From hence let fierce contending nations know 
What dire effects from civil discord flow : 
Tis this that shakes our country with alarms, 
And gives up Rome a prey to Roman arms, 
Produces fraud, and cruelty, and strife, 
And robs the guilty world of Cato's life. 

[Exeunt omnes . 



WHAT odd fantastic things we women do? 

Who worCd not listen when young lovers woo ? 

But die a maid, yet have the choice of two! 

Ladies are often cruel to their cost : 

To give you pain themselves they punish most. 

Vows oj virginity should well be weigh" d; 

Too oft they're cancell'd, though in convents made. 

IPou'd you revenge such rash resolves you may 

Be spiteful and b-elieve the thing ice say, 

We hate you when you re easily said nay. 

HOW needless, if you knew us, were your fears? 

Let love have eyes, and leauty will have ears. ^ 

Our hearts areform'd as you yourselves would chuee. 

Too proud to ask, too humlle to refuse: 

We give to merit, and to icealth we sell : 

He sighs with most success that settles well. 

The woes of wedlock with the joys we mix : 

''Tis lest repenting in a coach and siv. 

Blame not our conduct, since we lut pursue 

Those lively lessons we have learnt from you. 

Your breasts no more ihejire of beauty warms, 

But wicked wealth usurps the pow'r of charms* 

What pains to get the gaudy things you hate, 

To sivell in shew, and be a wretch in slate, 

At plays you ogle, at the ring you bow : 

E'en churches are no sanctuaries now : 

There golden idols all your voivs receive, 

She is no goddess that has nought to give- 


Oh, may once more the happy age appear, 
When words were artless, and the thoughts sincere : 
When gold and grandeur were unenvy'd things, 
And courts less coveted than groves and springs : 
Love then shall only mourn when truth complains, 
And constancy feel transport in its chains : 
Sighs with success their own soft anguish tell, 
And eyes shall utter what the lips conceal : 
Virtue again to its bright station climb, 
And beauty fear no enemy but time ; 
The fair shall listen to desert alone, 
And every Lucia Jind a Cato's son. 


Printed by K,M'DonaM, 
13,<Jreu Aitsur ('curt 






Altered from 



As performed at the Theatres-Royal, 


ISleguteB from tTje Prompt Toofc0, 

And a Critique, 


Tke Lint* distinguished by inverted Commas are omitted 
in the Representation. 


Printed for C. COOKE, Paternoster-Row, 

by K. M'Donald, 13, Green Arbour Court, and 

sold by all the Booksellers i th 

Un\ted Kingdom. 


THOUGH the mixed drama of the last age, called 
Tragi-Comedy, has been generally condemned by the 
critics, and not without reason; yet it has been found 
to' succeed on the stage: both the comic and tragic 
scenes have been applauded by the audience, without 
any particular exceptions: nor has it been observed, 
that the effect of either was less forcible, than it would 
have been, if they had not succeeded each other in the 
entertainment of the same night. The tragic part of 
this play has been always esteemed extremely natural 
and interesting; and it would probably, like some 
others, have produced its full effect, notwithstanding 
the intervention of the comic scenes that are inter- 
mixed with it: the editor, therefore, would not have 
thought of removing them, if they had not been ex- 
ceptionable in themselves, not only as indelicate, but 
as immoral ; for this reason he has suffered so much of 
the characters of the Porier and the Nurse to remain, 
as is noi liable to this objection. He is, however to 
account, not only for what he has taken away, but for 
what he has added. It will easily be comprehended, 
that the leaving out something made it absolutely ne- 
cessarv that something should be supplied ; and the pub- 
lic will be the more easily reconciled to this necessity, 
when they are acquainted that the additions are very 
inconsiderable, and that the editor has done his utmost 
to render them of a piece with the rest. Several lines 
of the original, particularly in the part of Isabella, 
are printed, though they are omitted in the represen- 
tation. Many things please in the reading, which 
may have little or no effect upon the stage. When 
the passions are violent, and the speeches long, the 
performers must either spnre their powers, or shorten 
their speeches. Mrs. Siddons chose the latter; by 
which she has been able to exert that force and ex- 
pression which has been so strongly felt, and so sin- 
cerely applauded. 


THIS eminent poet was born in Dublin, in th 
year 1(J6'0, and received his education at the univer- 
sity there. In the eighteenth year of his age he 
quitted Ireland, and, as his intention was to pursue a 
lucrative profession, he entered himself in the Middle 
Temple ; but the natural vivacity of his mind over- 
coming all considerations of advantage, lie quitted 
that state of life, and entered into the more agreeable 
service of the Muses. The first dramatic performance 
of Mr. Southern was his Persian Prince, or Loyal 
Brother, acted in the year 1()82. This play vvas in- 
troduced at a time when the Tory interest was tri- 
umphant in England; and the character of the Loyal 
Brother was intended to compliment James, Duke of 
York, who afterwards rewarded the poet. His next 
play was a comedy, called The Disappointment, or 
the Mother in Fashion, performed in the year 1684. 

After the accession of James II. to the throne, 
when the Duke of Monmouth made an unfortunate 
attempt upon his uncle's crown, Mr. Southern went 
into the army, in the regiment first raised by the Lord 
Ferrers, afterwards commanded by the Duke of Ber- 
wick; and he had thiee com missions, viz. ensign, lieu- 
tenant, and captain, under K. James in that regiment. 
During the reign of this prince, in the year before the 
Revolution, he wrote a tragedv, called The Spartan 
Dane. This play was inimitably acted in 1719. Mr. 
Booth, Mr.Wilks, Mr. Cibber/Mi. Mills, sen. Mrs. 
Oldfield, and Mrs. Porter, all performed in it, in their 
height of reputation, and the full vigour of their 
powers. Mr. Southern acknowledged that he re- 
ceived from the booksellers, as a price for this play, 
1501. which at that time was very extraordinary. He 
was the first who raised the advantage of play-writing 
to a second and third night. Southern was indus- 
trious to draw all imaginable profits from his poetical 
labours. Dryden once took occasion to ask him, how 
much he got by one of his plays j to which he an- 


awercd, that he was really ashamed to inform him. 
But Mr. Dryden being a little importunate to know, 
lie plainly told him, that by his last play he cleared 
seven hundred pounds ; which appeared astonishing 
to Dryden, as he had never been able to acquire more 
than one hundred by his most successful pieces. The 
secret is, Southern was not beneath the drudgery of 
solicitation, and often sold his tickets at a very high 
price, by making applications to persons of distinc- 
tion ; which, perhaps, Dryden thought was much 
beneath the dignity of a poet. Our author continued, 
from time to time, to entertain the public with his 
dramatic pieces, the greatest part of which met with 
the success they deserved. 

Of our author's comedies, none are in possession of 
the stage, nor perhaps deserve to be so ; for in that 
province he is less excellent than in tragedy. The 
most finished, and the most pathetic of his plays, in 
the opinion of the critics, is his Oroono/co. His Isa- 
lella, or Fatal Marriage, met with deserved success; 
the affecting incidents, and interesting tale in the tra- 
gic part sufficiently compensate for the low, trifling, 
comic intrusions. Mr. Southern died May 26, 1746, 
in the eighty-sixth year of his age ; the latter part of 
which he spent in a peaceful serenity, having, by his 
commission as a soldier, and the profits of his drama- 
tic works, acquired a handsome fortune; and being 
an exact oeconomist, he improved what fortune he 
gained to the best advantage : he enjoyed the longest 
life of all our poets, and died the richest of them, a 
very few excepted. 

His dramatic pieces are, 

1. The Loyal Brother. A Tragedy. 4to. 1082. 

2. The Disappointment. A Comedy. 4to. l6'84. 

3. Sir Anthony Love, or the Rambling Lady. x\ Co- 
medy. 4to. 1691. 

4. The fives' Excuse , or Cuckolds make themselves. 
A Comedy. 4to. 1692. 

3. The Maid's last Prayer, or Any Thing rather than 
fail. A Comedy. 4to. 1693. 
a 3 


6. Isabella, or the Fatal Marriage. A Tragedy. 4to. 

7. Oroonoko. A Tragedy. 4to. 1696. 

8. The Fate of Capua. A Tragedy. 4to. 1700. 

9. The Spartan Dame. A Tragedy. 8vo. 17 '9- 

10. Money's the Mistress A Comedy. 8vo 1726. 
Gildon, in his Contiuuation of Langbaine, (says 

Mr. Oldys in his MS. additions to that book) informs 
us, that our author was the son of George Southern, 
of Stratford-upon-Avon, in Warwickshire; and that 
he became a servitor of Pembroke Hall, Oxford, in 
the year l680, aged seventeen, or more, according to 
Wood. Mr. Oldss adds, th?t he remembered Mr. 
Southern, " a grave and venerable old gentleman. He 
lived near Covent-Garden, and used often h frequent 
the evening prayers there, always neat and derootly 
dressed, commonly in black, with his silver -^ .id 
and silver locks ; but latterly, it seems, he resioed at 
Westminster." The late excellent poet, Mr. Gray, 
in a letter to Mr. Walpole, dated from Burnhrm, in 
Buckinghamshire, September 1737, has also the foU 
lovvii'g observation concerning our author. " We 
have old Mr. Southern at a gentleman's house a little 
way ofl, who often comes to see us; he is now se- 
venty-seven years old, and has almost wholly lost his 
memory ; but is as agreeable an old man as can be, at 
Jeast 1 persuade myself so when I look at him, and 
think of Isabella and Oroonoko." Mr. Mason adds, 
in a n"te on this passage, (4to. edit. p. 25.) that ' Mr. 
Gray always thought highly of his pathetic powers, 
at the aame time that he blamed his ill taste for mix- 
.ing them so injudiciously with farce, in order to pro- 
dnce that monstrous species of composition called 
T:a-' comedy." Mr. Southern, however, .in the 
latter part of his 1'fe, WTS ?u,-ible of the impropriety 
of blending tragedy and comedy, and used to declare 
to Lord Corke his regret at complying with the li- 
centious taste of the times. 







WHEN it struck the poet's fancy to contrive this 
play, he could not easily have devised a more affecting 
incident than that of a fond and faithful husband re- 
turning after seven years of absence to a beloved wife, 
and finding her in the nrms of another husband. 
When he had decided upon this circumstance, as the 
great hinge on which the pathos of his fable was to 
turn, he did perfectly right to lay his scene in private 
life, as bringing it nearer to the hearts of men. It 
would naturally be his next object to save the cha- 
racter of the wife, by giving her sufficient grounds 
for justifying her as to the measure of a second mar- 
riage ; and this of course implies a conviction, or 
strong persuasion on her part as to the death of her 
first husband. To make this deception perfectly in 
nature would be his next care ; accordingly we find, 
that Biron is reported to have died of his wounds in 
battle, and to have been kept in slavery for the space 
of seven years, during which, though he found op- 
portunities for writing, and actually did send letters 
to his wife, yet those letters were intercepted and 
never reached her. 

As this particular must have cost the projector of 
the plot some trouble to reconcile it to probability, 


Southern struck on the expedient of devising a cha- 
racter, whose interest it should be to keep Isabella ift 
the persuasion of Biron's death, and who had also 
the means of stopping all those letters, which would 
else have undeceived her. This odious character he 
bestows upon Carlos ; and in order to give him a 
motive for the villainous part which he assigns to 
him, he makes him the younger brother of Biron, 
and next in succession to the fortune of the wealthy 
Count Baldwin, father to them both. 

Still the expedient of this intervening character, 
which is meant not only to account for Isabella's ig- 
norance of her husband's existence, but also to be the 
engine for all the mischief that ensues upon the fatal 
marriage which she consummates wilh Villeroy, has 
more demands upon it, than nature and probability 
can well provide for. He is to risk a deception on 
his father as well as on his sister-in-law; and as he 
is known to have received letters from his living bro- 
ther, this seems a most perilous experiment without 
a sufficient object for resorting to it. The death of 
his brother, and the consequent inheritance of his 
fortune, are the only points that he looks up to; and 
the fatal marriage, which he is so villainously busy- 
to promote, no otherwise can be tortured to the pur- 
pose of his ravishing the inheritance from his elder 
brother, than by the savage hope which he expresses, 
that the discovery would be such a blow to Biron a s 
would cause his death. This is so far-fetched a hope, 
and a motive so disproportioned to the barefaced vil- 
lainy of a measure, in which he must be detected if 
ever Biron lived to return, that the poet (aware, no 


doubt, of an absurdity so striking) describes Carlos 
as incensed against Villeroy, because he had made 
suit to his sister, and been rejected. This double 
motive for an act so treacherous is evidently thrown 
in as a buttress to a feeble part in the structure of the 
plot. Still it must be confessed, that this round- 
about contrivance of compassing the death of Biron, 
by promoting the marriage of Isabella with Villeroy, 
is a very unnatural circuit for a mao to take, who 
was so ready to adopt the straight- forward course of 
assassination, and come to his object at ouee by the 
murder of his brother. 

The poet's next care would naturally be to furnish 
his heroine with such powerful and imperious reasons 
for marrying Villeroy, as should save her from any 
appearance of levity : this he has most effectually ac- 
complished, and upon the distressful circumstances 
in which he has exhibited Isabella, has founded the 
very best and most affecting scenes in his drama. In 
doing this, however, he has drawn such a dire picture 
of Baldwin's inhumanity, and plunged his napless 
heroine into such an abyss of woe, as seems to have 
suggested to him the idea of throwing into her history 
something that might serve in part as a salvo for the 
brutal cruelty with which she is treated ; otherwise 1 
can see no reason why she is saddled with the charge 
of having violated her conventual vows, which en- 
ables Baldwin thus to retort upon her 

" How dare you mention Heav'n ? Call to mind 
" Your perjur'd vows, your plighted, broken faith 
" To Heav'n and all things holy : were you not 
" Devoted, wedded to a life recluse, 


" The sacred habit on, profess'cl and sworn, 

" A votary for ever?" 

It seems as if the poet had felt a repugnance against lay- 
ing such an accumulated load of misfortune, despair, 
phrenzy, and finally self-murder, upon his wretched 
heroine, unless he had made her in some measure re- 
sponsihle for her own sufferings. 

But when the poet, whilst he planned the business 
of his drama, conceived such instruments for carrying 
on his plot as Sampson and the Nurse, weaving the 
brutish insults of the one, and the indecorous gabble 
of the other, into the pathos of his tragedy, he did 
exactly what in the present day would either have 
stopt his play from ever appearing on the stage, or 
have damned it on its very first appearance. In fact, 
Southern has mingled so much dross with his gold, 
that it has been necessary to refine it over and over 
again, before it could be made a decent vehicle to ex- 
hibit the fine acting which, from the time of Mrs. 
Gibber to the present, has been the sole support of 
this modo-dramatic tragi-comedy. 

When he comes to his catastrophe, he appears like 
a bedlamite broken loose from his chains, or one of 
those demoniacs who are described under the influ- 
ence of a sirocque, as rushing out of doors to stab 
every object that they cross upon. He commits mur- 
ders without meaning, and instead of making mad- 
ness horrible, he makes horror mad; prompts Isa- 
bella to stab Biron, sufTers Villeroy to draw his sword 
upon him because he gi-ves a farewell kiss to his own 
wife, permits his brother Carlos to assassinate him, 
makes the villain boast his crimes and laugh at con- 


sequences, lets his heroine, in whose sorrows we had 
sympathized, take leave oflife, and preface the dread- 
ful act of self-murder by the most impious disavowal 
of Heaven's justice, uttering these horrid blasphemies 
whilst she plunges the dagger into her heart 
" I did not hope to find 

" Justice on earth ; 'tis not in Heav'n neither. 

" Biron has watch'd his opportunity 

" Softly ; he steals it from the sleeping gods, 

(< And sends it thus [Stabs herself." 

What could be in Southern's mind when he conceived 
this passage, puzzles me to conjecture. It would 
have been outrageous blasphemy even in a dying 
Pagan, and insanity itself cannot apologize for it. 

That there are passages of exquisite and pathetic 
simplicity in this motley drama, no reader can fail to 
acknowledge ; but every critic will be unanimous iu 
condemning it as a most faulty and imperfect com- 



Count BALDWIN, Father to Biron and Carlos, 
BIRON, married to Isabella, supposed dead. 
CARLOS, his younger Brother. 
VILLEROY, in Love with Isabella, marries her. 
SAMPSON, Porter to Count Baldwin. 
A Child o/ Isabella's ly Biron. 
BELLFORD, a Friend o/"BironV. 
PEDRO, a Friend to Carlos. 


ISABELLA, married to Biron and Villeroy. 
Nurse to Biron. 

Officers, Servants, Men and Women. 





Before Count BALDWIN'S House. Enter VILLEROY 
and CARLOS. 

Carlos. THIS constancy of yours will establish an 
immortal reputation among the women. 

Vil. If it would establish me with Isabella 

Car. Follow her, follow her: Troy town was won 
at last. 

Vil. I have follow'd her these seven years, and now 
but live in hopes. 

Car, But live in hopes! Why, hope is the ready 
road, the lover's baiting-place; and, for aught you 
know, but one stage short of the possession of your 

PH. But my hopes, I fear, are more of my own 
making than her's; and proceed rather from my 
wishes, than any encouragement she has given me. 

Car. That 1 cann't tell : the sex is very various ; 
there are no certain measures to be prescribed or fol- 
iovv'd, in making our approaches to the women. All 
that we have to do, I think, is to attempt 'em in the 
weakest part. Press them but hard, and they will all 
fall under the necessity of a surrender at last. That 
favour comes at once; and sometimes when we least 
expect it. 

V%L. I shall be glad to find it so. 


Car. You will find it so. Every place is to be 
taken, that is not to be reliev'd: she must comply. 

Vil. I'm going to visit her. 

Car. What interest a brother-in-law can have with 
her, depend upon. 

Vil. I know your interest, and I thank you. 

Car. You are prevented: see, the mourner comes ; 
She weeps, as seven years were seven hours; 
So fresh, unfading, is the memory 
Of my poor brother's, Biron's death : 
I leave you to your opportunity. [Exit Vil. 

Tho' I have taken care to root her from our house, 
I would transplant her into Villeroy's 
There is an evil fate that waits upon her, 
To which I wish him wedded only him : 
His upstart family, with haughty brow, 
(Tho' Villeroy and myself are seeming friends) 
Looks down upon our house; his sister too, 
Whose hand I ask'd, and was with scorn refus'd, 

Lives in my breast, and fires me to revenge. 

They bend this way 

Perhaps, at last, she seeks my father's doors ; 

They shall be shut, and be prepar'd to give 

The beggar and her brat a cold reception. 

That boy's an adder in my path they come. 

I'll stand apart, and watch their motions. [Retires. 

Enter VILLEROY, with ISABELLA, and her little Son. 

Isa. Why do you follow me ? you know I am 
A bankrupt every way; too far engag'd 
Ever to make return : I own you have been 
More than a brother to me, my friend ; 
And at a time when friends are found no more, 
A friend to my misfortunes. 

Vil. I must be always your friend. 

Isa. I have known, and found you 
Truly my friend ; and would I could be yours : 
But the unfortunate cannot be friends : 
" Fate watches the first motion of the soul, 
'* To disappoint our wishes ; if we prav 


" For blessings, they prove curses in the end, 
" To ruin all ahout us." Pray be gone, 
Take warning, and be happy. 

Vil. Happiness! 

There's none for me without you : " Riches, name, 
" Health, fame, distinction, place, and quality, 
" Are the incurnbrances of groaning life, 
" To make it but more tedious without you." 
What serve the goods of fortune for? To raise 
My hopes, that you at last will share them with me. 
" Long life itself, the universal prayer, 
" And Heav'n's reward of well-deservers here, 
" Would prove a plague to me ; to see you always, 
" And never see you mine ! still to desire, 
" And never to enjoy 1" 
Isa. 1 must not hear you. 
Vil. Thus, at this awful distance, I have serv'd 
A seven years bondage Do I call it bondage, 
When 1 can never wish to be redeem'd ? 
No, let me rather linger out a life 
Of expectation, that you may be mine, 
Than be restor'd to the indifference 
Of seeing you, without this pleading pain : 
I've lost myself, and never would be found, 
But in these arms. 

ha. Oh, I have heard all this ! 
But must no more the charmer is no more : 

My buried husband rises in the face 

Of my dear boy, and chides me for my stay : 

Canst thou forgive me, child? 

Child. Why, have you done a fault ? You cry as if 

you had. Indeed now, I've done nothing to offend 

you : but if you kiss me, and look so very sad upon 

me, I shall cry too. 

ha. My little angel, no, yon must not cry ; 

Sorrow will overtake thy steps too soon : 

I should not hasten it. 
Vil. What can I say! 

The arguments that make against my hopes 

Prevail upon my heart, and fix me more; 


(t Those pious tears you hourly throw away 

" Upon the grave have all their quick'ning charms, 

" And more engage my love, to make you mine: 1 * 

When yet a virgin, free, and undispos'd, 

1 lov'd, but saw you only with my eyes ; 

I could not reach the beauties of your soul : 

I have since liv'd in contemplation 

And long experience of your growing goodness : 

VVhat then was passion, is my judgment now, 

Thro' all the several changes of your life, 

Confirm'd and settled in adoring you. 

Isu. Nay, then 1 must be gone. If you're my friend, 
If you regard my little interest, 
No more of this ; you see, I grant you all 
That friendship will allow : be still my friend ; 
That's all I can receive, or have to give. 
I'm going to my father; he needs not an excuse 
To use me ill : pray leave me to the trial. 

Vil. I'm only born to,be what you would have me, 
The creature of your power, arid must obey; 
In every thing obey you. I am going: 
But all good fortune go along with you. [Exit. 

Isa. 1 shall need all your wishes- [Knocks. 

Lock'd and fast ! 

Where is the charity that us'd to stand 

In our forefathers' hospitable days 

At great men's doors, ready for our wants, 

Like the good angel of the family, 

With open arms taking the needy in, 

To feed and clothe, to comfort and relieve 'em? 

.Now even their gates are shut against their poor. 

[She knocks again. 

Enter SAMPSON to her. 

Samp. Well, what's to do now, I trow ? You knock 
as loud as if you were invited; and that's more than 
1 heard of; but I can tell you, you may look twice 
abxmt you for a welcome in a great man's family be- 
fore you find it, unless you bring it along with you. 

Isa. 1 hope I bring my welcome along with me : 


Is your lord at home ? 

Count Baldwin lives here still ? 

Sam. Ay, ay, Count Baldwin does live here ; and 
1 am his porter: but what's that to the purpose, good 
woman, of my lord's being at home ! 
Isa. Why, don't you know me, friend ? 
Samp. Not I, not I, mistress ; 1 may have seen 
you before, or so ; but men of employment must for- 
get their acquaintance ; especially such as we are never 
to be the better for. 

[Going to shut the door, Nurse enters having 

overheard him. 

Nurse. H.indsomer words would become you, and 
mend your manners, Sampson : do you know who 
you prate to? 

Isa. I'm glad you know me, nurse. 
Nurse. Marry,' Heav'n forbid, madam, that I 
should ever forget you, or my littlejewel : pray go in 
[Isabella goes in with her- Child, j Now my blessing 
go along with you wherever you go, or whatever you 
are about. Fie, Sampson, how couldst thou be such 
a Saracen? ATurk would have been a better Christian, 
than to have done so barbarously by so good a lady. 
Samp. Why look you, nurse, I know you of old: 
by your good-will you would have a finger in every 
body's pie: but mark the end on't; if I am called to 
account about it, J know what 1 have to say. 

Nurse. Marry come up here; say your pleasure, 
and spare not. 'Refuse his eldest son's widow, and 
poor child, the comfort of seeing him? She does not 
trouble him so often. 

Samp. Not that 1 am against it, nurse: but we are 
but servants, you know: we must have no likings, 
but our lord's ; and must do as we are ordered. 
" Nurse. Nay, that's true, Sampson. 
" Samp. Besides, what I did was all for the best : 
" I h;ise no ill-will to the young lady, as a body may 
** say, upon my own account; only that I hear she is 
" poor; and indeed I naturally hate yonr decay'd 
" gentry: they expect as much waiting upon as when 
B 3 


u they had money in their pockets, and were able to 
*' consider us for the trouble. 

tt 2^urse. Why, that is a grievance indeed in great 
" families, where the gifts, at good times, are better 
" than the wages. It-would do well to be reformed." 

Samp. But what is the business, nurse? You have 
been in the family before I came into the world, 
what's the reason, pray, that this daughter-in-law, 
who has so good a report in every body's mouth, is 
So little set by, by my lord? 

Nurse. Why, I tell you, Sampson, more or less; 
I'll tell the truth, that's my way, you know, without 
adding or diminishing. 

Samp. Ay, marry, nurse. 

Nurse. My lord's eldest son, Biron by name, the 
son of his bosom, and the son that he would have 
lov'd best, if he had as many as king Pyramus of Troy. 

' Samp. How! King Pyramus of Troy? Why, 
" how many had he?" 

*' Nurse. Why, the ballad sings he had fifty sons ; 
" but no matter for that." This Biron, as I was say- 
ing, was a lovely sweet gentleman, and, indeed, no- 
body could blame his father for loving him : he was a 
son for the king of Spain ; God bless him, for I was 
his nurse. But now I come to the point, Samp- 
son; this Biron, without asking the advice of his 
friends, hand over head, as young men will have 
their vagaries, not having the fear of his father 
before his eyes, as I may say, wilfully marries this 

Samp. How, wilfully ! he should have had her con- 
sent, methinks. 

Nurse. No, wilfully marries her ; and, which was 
worse, after she had settled a!l her fortune upon a 
nunnery, which she broke out of to run away with 
him. They say they had the church's forgiveness, 
but I had rathe'rit had been his father's. 

Samp. Why, in good truth, " these nunneries, I 
" see no good they do. I think the young lady was 
(t in the right to run away from a nunnery:" and I 


think our young master was not in the wrong but in 
marrying without a portion. 

Nurse. That was the quarrel, I believe, Sampson: 
upon this, my old lord would never see him ; disinhe- 
rited him ; took his younger brother, Carlos, into fa- 
vour, whom he never car'd for before ; and atlastforc'd 
Biron to goto the siege of Candy, where he was killed. 

Samp. Alack-a day, poor gentleman. 

Nurse. For which my old lord hates her, as if she 
had been the cause of his going thither. 

Samp. Alas, alas, poor lady ! she has suffered for 
it : she has liv'd a great while a widow. 

Nurse. A great while indeed, for a young woman, 

Samp. Gad so! here they come; I won't venture 
to be seen. 

Enter Count BALDWIN, followed by ISABELLA and 
her Child. 

C. Bald. Whoever of your friends directed you, 
Misguided and abus'd you There's your way ; 
I can afford to shew you out again j 
What could you expect from me ? 

Isa. Oh, I have nothing to expect on earth! 
But misery is very apt to talk: 
I thought I might be heard. 

C. Bald. What can you say? 
Is there in eloquence, can there be in words, 
A recompensing pow'r, a remedy, 
A reparation of the injuries, 
The great calamities, that you have brought 
On me, and mine ? You nave destroy'd those hopes 
I fondly rais'd, through my declining life, 
To rest my age upon ; and most undone me. 

Isa. 1 have undone myself too. 

C. Bald. Speak it again ; 

Stay still you are undone, and I will hear you, 
With pleasure hear you. 

Isa. Would my ruin please you? 

C. Bald. Beyond all other pleasures. 

Isa. Then you are plcas'd for 1 am most undone. 


C. Bald. I pray'd but for revenge, and Heav'n 

And sent it to my wishes: these grey hairs 
Would have gone down in sorrow to the grave, 
W'hich you have dug for me, without the thought, 
The thought of leaving you more wretched here. 

Isa. Indeed I am most wretched " When I lost 
" My husband 

" C. Bald. Would he had never been.; 
" Or never had been yours. 

" Isa. I then belie v'd 

" The measure of my sorrow then was full : 
" But every moment of my growing days 
*' Makes room for woes, and adds them to the sum." 
I lost with Biron all the joys of life : 
But now its last supporting means are gone, 
All the kind helps that Heav'n in pity rais'd, 
In charitable pity to our wants, 
At last have left us: now bereft of all, 
But this last trial of a cruel father, 
To save us both from sinking. Oh, my child ! 
Kneel with me, knock at nature in his heart : 
Let the resemblance of a once-lov'd son 
Speak in this little one, who never wrong'd you, 
And plead the fatherless and widow's cause. 
Oh, if you ever hope to be forgiven, 
As you will need to be forgiven too, 
Forget our faults, that Heaven may pardon yours ! 

C. Bald. How dare you mention Heav'n! Call to. 


Your perjur'd vows; your plighted, broken faith 
To Heav'n and all things holy : were you not 
Devoted, wedded to a iffe recluse, 
The sacred habit on, profess'd and sworn, 
A votary for ever? Can you think 
The sacrilegious wretch, that robs the shrine, 
Is thunder proof? 

Isa. There, there began my woes. 
" Let women all take warning at my fate ; 
" Never resolve, or think they can be safe, 


" Within the reach and tongue of tempting men." 

Oh ! had 1 never seen my Biron's face, 

Had he not tempted me, I had not fall'n, 

But still continued innocent and free 

Of a bad world, which only he had pow'r 

To reconcile, and make me try again. 

C. Bald. Your own inconstancy, " your graceless 

" thoughts, 

" Debauch 'd and" reconcil'd you to the world : 
He had no hand to bring you back again, 
But what you gave him. Circe, you prevail'd 
Upon his honest mind, transforming him 
From virtue, and himself, into what shapes 
You had occasion for; and what he did 
Was first inspir'd by you. " A cloister was 
Too narrow for the work you had in hand : 
Your business was more general ; the whole world 
To be the scene : therefore you spread your charms 
To catch his soul, to be the instrument, 
The wicked instrument, of your cursed flight. 
Not that you valued him ; for any one, 
Who could have serv'd the turn, had been as wel- 

" come." 

Isa. Oh ! I have sins to Heav'n, but none to him, 
C. Bald. Had my wretched son 
Marry 'd a beggar's bastard; taken her 
Out of her rags, and made her of my blood, 
The mischief might haveceas'd, and ended there. 
But bringing you into a family, 
Entails a curse upon the name and house 
That takes you in : the only part of me 
That did receive you, perish'd for his crime. 
'Tis a defiance to offended Heav'n 
Barely to pity you : your sins pursue you : 
" The heaviest judgments that can fall upon you, 
* Are your just lot, and but prepare your doom : 

'* Expect 'em, and despair Sirrah, rogue, 

" How durst thou disobey me !" [To the Porter, 

Isa. Not for myself for I am past the hopes 

Of being heard but for this innocent 

10 ISABELLA; OR, Act 1. 

And then I never will disturb you more. 

C. Bald. I almost pity the unhappy child: 
But being yours 

Isa. Look on him as your son's; 
And let his part in him answer for mine. 
Oh, save, defend him, save him from the wrongs 
That fall upon the poor! 

C. Bald. It touches me 

And i will save him But to keep him safe j 
Never come near him more. 

ha. What! take him from me! 
No, we must never part: 'tis the last hold 
Of comfort I have left; and when he fails, 
All goes along with him : Oh ! <f could you be 
" The tyrant to divorce life from my life?" 
I live but in my child. 
No, let me pray in vain, and beg my bread 
From door to door, to feed his daily wants, 
Rather than always lose him. 

C. Bald. Then have your child, and feed him with 

your prayer. 

You rascal, slave, what do I keep you for ? 
How came this woman in ? 

Samp. Why indeed, my lord, I did as good as tell 
her, before, my thought? upon the matter 

C. Bald. Did you so, sir? Now then tell her mine; 
Tell her, ] sent you to her. [Thrusts him towards her. 
There's one more to provide for. 

Samp. Good, my lord, what I did was in perfect 
obedience to the old nurse there. I told her what it 
would come to. 

C. Bald. What! this was a plot upon me. And you 
too, beldam, were you in the conspiracy? Begone, 
go all together; " I have provided you an equipage, 
**' now setup when you please. She's old enough to 
" do you service; I have none for her. The wide 
" world lies before you : begone:" take any road but 
this to beg or starve in " I shall be glad to hear of 

( ' you :" out never, never see me more 

[He drives 'em offlefore him. 


ha. Then Heav'n have mercy on me! 
\Exit with her Child, followed ly Sampson and 


Continues. Enter VILLPAOY and CARLOS, meeting. 

Villeroy. MY friend, I fear to ask but Isabella 
The lovely widow's tears, her orphan's cries, 
Thy father must feel for them No, I read, 

I read their cold reception in thine eyes 

Thou pitiest them tho' Baldwin but I spare him 
For Carlos' sake ; thou art no son of his. 
There needs not this to endear thee more to me. 


Car. My Villeroy, the fatherless, the widow, 

Are terms not understood within these gates 

You must forgive him, sir; he thinks this woman 

Is Biron's fate, that hurried him to death 

I must not think on't, lest my friendship stagger. 
My friend's, my sister's mutual advantage 
Have reconcil'd my bosom to its task. 

Vil. Advantage ! think not I intend to raise 
An interest from Isabella's wrongs. 
Your father may have interested ends 
In her undoing; but my heart has none : 
Her happiness must be my interest, 
And that I would restore. 

Car. Why so I mean. 

These hardships that my father lays upon her, 
I'm sorry for ; and wish 1 could prevent; 
But he will have his way. 

Since there's no hope from her prosperity, her change 
of fortune may alter the condition of her thoughts, 
and make for you. 

Vil. She is above her fortune. 

Car. Try her again. Women commonly love ac- 
cording to the circumstances they are in. 

Vil- Common women may. 

" Car. Since you are not accessary to the injustice, 



" you may be persuaded to take the advantage of 
" other people's crimes." 

" Vil. I must despise all those advantages, 
" That indirectly can advance my love." 
No, though I live but in the hopes of her, 
And languish for th* enjoyment of those hopes; 
I'd rather pine in a consuming want 
Of what 1 wish, than have the blessing miue, 
From any reason but consenting love. 
Oh ! let me never have it to remember, 
I could betray her coldly to comply: 
When a clear gen'rous choice bestows her on me, 
I know to value the nnequall'd gift : 
I would not have it, but to value it. 

Car. Take your own way: remember what I of- 
fer'd came from a friend. 

ft/. I understand it so. I'll serve her for .herself, 
without the thought of a reward. [Exit. 

Car. Agree that point between you. If you marry 
her any way, you do my business. 
I know himWhat his gen'rous soul intends 

Ripens my plots I'll first to Isabella. 

I must keep up appearances with her too. \Exit. 

ISABELLA'* House. Enter ISABELLA and Nurse: 

ISABELLA'* little Son at play upon the Floor. 
Isa. Sooner or later, all things pass away, 
And are no more. The beggar and the king, 
With equal steps, tread forward to their end : 
The reconciling grave swallows distinction first, that 

made us foes, 

" Though they appear of different natures now, 
" They meet at last;" 
Then all alike lie down in peace together. 
When will that hour of peace arrive for me? 

In Heav'n I shall find it not in Heav'n, 

If my old tyrant father can dispose 

Of things above but, there, his interest 

May be as poor as mine, and want a friend 

As much as I do here. {Weeping. 


Nurse. Good madam, be comforted. 

Isa. Do I deserve to be this outcast wretch; 
Abandon 'd thus, and lost? But 'tis my lot, 
The will of Heav'n, and I must not complain : 
I will not for myself : let me bear all 
The violence of your wrath; but spare my child : 
Let not my sins be visited on him : 
They are; they must; a general ruin falls 
On every thing about me: thouart lost, 
Poor nurse, by being near me. 

Nurse. 1 can work, or beg, to do you service. 

ha. Could I forget 

What I have been," I might the better bear 
What I am destin'd to: I'm not the first 
That have been wretched : but to think how much 

I have been happier ! Wild hurrying thoughts 

Start every way from my distracted soul, 
To find out hope, and only meet despair. 
What answer have I ? 


Samp. Why truly, very little to the purpose: like 
a Jew as he is, he says you have had more already than 
the jewels are worth : he wishes you would rather 
think of redeeming 'em, than expect any more money 
upon 'em. [Exit Sampson. 

Isa. 'Tis very well 

So: Poverty at home, and debts abroad! 
My present fortune bad; my hopes yet worse! 
What will become of me? 
This ring is all 1 have left of value now : 
'Twas given me by my husband : his first gift 
Upon our marriage : I've al ways kept it, 
With my best care, the treasure next my life : 
And now but part with it to support life, 
W hich only can be dearer. Take it, Nurse, 
'Twill stop the cries of hunger for a time ; 
'"' Provide us bread, and bring a short reprieve, 
" To put off the bad day of beggary, 
" That will come on too soon." Take care of it : 

14 ISABELLA; OR, Act 11. 

Manage it as the last remaining friend 
That would relieve us. [Exit Nurse. ] Heav'n car 
only lell 

Where we shall find another My dear boy ! 

The labour of his birth was lighter to me 
Than of my fondness now ; my fears for him 
Are more, than in that hour of hovering death 

They could be for myself He minds me not, 

His little sports have taken up his thoughts : 
Oh, may they never feel the pangs of mine. 
Thinking will make me mad: why must I tfcink, 
When no thought brings me comfort? 
Nurse returns. 

Nurse. Oh, madam ! you are utterly ruin'd and un- 
done; your creditors of all kinds are come in upon 
you: they have mustered up a regiment of rogues, 
that are come to plunder your house, and seize upon 
all you have in the world; they are below. What 
will you do, madam ? 

ha. Dol nothing; no, for I am born to suffer. 

Enter CARLOS to her. 

Car. Oh, sister ! can I call you by that name, 
And be the son of this inhuman man, 
Inveterate to your ruin ? Do not think 
1 am a-kin to his barbarity : 
] must abhor my father's usage of you; 
And from my bleeding honest heart must pity. 
Pity your lost condition. Can you think 
Of any way that I may serve you in ? 
But what enrages most my sense of grief, 
My sorrow for your wrongs, is, that my father. 
Fore-knowing well the storm that was to fall, 
Has order'd me not to appear for you. 

Isa. I thank your pity; my poor husband fell 
For disobeying him, do not you stay 
To venture his displeasure too for me. 

Car. You must resolve on something [J&rif 

ha. Let my fate 
Determine for mej I shall be prepar'd, 


The worst that can befall me, is to die : \_A noise. 
When once it comes to that, it matters not 
Which way 'tis brought about ; whether I starve, 
Or hang, or drown, the end is still the same ; 
Plagues, poison, famine, are but several names 
Of the same thing, and all conclude in death. 
But sudden death ! Oh, fora sudden death, 
To cheat my persecutors of their hopes, 
Th' expected pleasure of beholding me 
Long in my pains, ling'ring in misery. 
It will not be, that is deny'd me too." 

Hark, they are coming ; let the torrent roar : 

It can but overwhelm me in its fall; 

And life and death are now alike to me. 

[Exeunt, the Nurse leading the Child. 


Opens, and shews CARLOS and VILLEROY with the 

Vil. No farther violence 

The debt in all is but four thousand crowns: 
Were it ten times the sum, I think you know 
My fortune very well can answer it. 
You have my word for this : I'll see you paid. 

Off. That's as much as we can desire : so we have 
the money, no matter whence it comes. 

Vil. To morrow you shall have it. 

Car. Thus far all's well 

Enter ISABELLA, and Nur$e with the Child. 
And now my sister comes to crown the work. [Aside. 

ha. Where are the ravingblood-hounds, that pursue. 
In a full cry, gaping to swallow me? 
I meet your rage, and come to be devour'd : 
Say, which way are you to dispose of me? 
To dungeons, darkness, deatji ! 

Car. Have patience. 

Jsa. Patience ! 

Off. You'll excuse us, we are but in our office : 
Debts must be paid. 

c 2 


Jsa. My death will pay you all. [Distractedly. 

Off. While there is law to be had, people will have 
their own. 

Pil. Tis very fit they should; but pray be gone. 
To morrow certainly [Exeunt Officers. 

V^a. What of to-morrow ? 

Am 1 then the sport, 

The game of fortune, and her laughing fools ? 

The common spectacle, to be expos'd 

From day to day, and baited for the mirth 

Of the lewd rabble ?" Must I be reserv'd 
For fresh afflictions ? 

Vil. For long happiness 
Of life, I hope. 

Isa. There is no hope for me. 
The load grows light, when we resolve to bear : 
I'm ready for my trial 

Car. Pray be calm, 
And know your friends. 

Isa. My friends ! Have I a friend ? 

Car. A faithful friend ; in your extremes! need, 
Villeroy came in to save you 

Jsa. Save rne ! How ? 

Car. By satisfying all your creditors. 

Isa. Which way ! For what ? 

PH. Let me be understood, 

And then condemn me : you have given me leave 
To be your friend ; and in that only name 
I now appear before you. I could wish 
There had been no occasion of a friend, 
Because I know you hate to be oblig'd ; 
And still more loth to be oblig'd by me. 

Isa. 'Twas that I would avoid [Aside. 

Vil. I'm most unhappy that my services 
Can be suspected to design upon you ; 
I have no farther ends than to redeem you 
From fortune's wrongs ; to shew myself at last, 
What I have long profess'd to be, your friend : 
Allow me that ; and to convince you more, 
That I intend only your interest, * 


Forgive what 1 have done, and in amends 

(If that can make you any, that can please you) 

I'll tear myself for ever from my hopes, 

Stifle this flaming passion in my soul, 

" That has so long broke out to trouble you," 

And mention my unlucky love no more. 

ha. This generosity will ruin me. [Aside. 

Vil. Nay, if the blessing of my looking on you 
Disturbs your peace, I will do all I can 
To keep away and never see you more. 

Car. You must not go. 

Vil. Could Isabella speak 

Those few short words, I should be rooted here, 
And never move but upon her commands. 

Car. Speak to him, sister; do not throw away 
A fortune that invites you to be happy. 
In your extremity he begs your love; 
And has deserv'd it nobly/ Think upon 
Your lost condition, helpless and alone. 
Tho' now, you have a friend, the time must come 
That you will want one; him you may secure 
To be a friend, a father, husband to you. 

Isa. A husband! 

Car. You have clischarg'd your duty to the dead, 
And to the living; 'tis a wilfulness 
Not to give way to your necessities, 
That force you to this marriage. 

JV?\ What must become of this poor innocence? 

[To the Child. 

Car. He wants a father to protect his youth, 
And rear him up to virtue: you must bear 
The future blame, and answer to the world, 
When you refuse the easy honest means 
Of taking care of him. 

" Nur. Of him and me, 
" And every one that must depend upon you : 
" Unless you please now to provide for us, 
" We must all perish." 

Car. Nor would I press you 

ha. Do not think f need 
c 3 

18 ISABELLA; OR, Act 11. 

Your reasons to confirm my gratitude ; 

I have a soul that's truly sensible 

Of your great worth, and busy to contrive, [To Vil. 

If possible, to make you a return. 

Vil. Oh! easily possible! 

ha. It cannot be your way: my pleasures are 
Bury'd and cold in my dead husband's grave; 
And, I should wrong the truth, myself, and you, 
To say that I can ever love again. 
I owe this declaration to myself: 
But as a proof that I owe all to you, 
If after what I have said, you can resolve 
To think me worth your love Where am I going? 
You cannot think it; 'tis impossible. 

Vil. Impossible ! 

Isa. You should not ask me now, nor should I 


I am so much oblig'd, that to consent 
Wou'd want a name to recommend the gift; 
'Twou'd shew me poor, indebted, and compell'd, 
Designing, mercenary ; and I know 
You would not wish to think I could be bought. 

Vil. Be bought ! where is the price that can pretend 
To bargain for you? Not in fortune's power. 
The joys of heav'n and love must be bestow'd ; 
They are not to be sold, and cannot be deserv'd ; 

Isa. Some other time I'll hear you on this subject. 

Vil. Nay, then there is no time fit for me. 

[Following her. 

Since you consent to hear me, hear me now ; 
That you may grant : you are above 
The little forms which circumscribe your sex; 
We differ but in time, let that be mine. 

ha. You think fit 

To get the better of me, and you shall ; 
Since you will have it so 1 will be yours. 

Vil. 1 take you at your word. 

Isa. I give you all 

My hand ; ancl would I had a heart to give : 


But if it ever can return again, 
Tis wholly yours. 

Vil. Oh, ecstasy of joy! 
Leave that to me. If all my services, 
" If prosperous days, and kind indulging nights;' 
If all that man can fondly say or do, 
Can beget love, love shall be born again. 
Oh, Carlos ! now my friend, and brother too : 
And, Nurse, I have eternal thanks for thee. 

Send for the priest [Nurse goes out in haste, 

This night you most be mine. 

Let me command in this, and all my life 

Shall be devoted to you. 

Jsa. On your word, 

Never to press me to put off these weeds, 
Which best become my melancholy thoughts, 
You shall command me. 

Vil. Witness Heaven and earth 
Against my soul, when 1 do any thing 
To give you a disquiet. 

Car. I long to wish you joy. 

Vil. You'll be a witness of my happiness? 

Car. For once I'll be my sister's father, 
And give her to you. 

Vil. Next my Isabella, 
Be near my heart: I am for ever yours. [Exeunt. 


Count BALDWIN'S House. Enter Count BALDWIN 
and CARLOS. 

Count Baldwin. MARRIED to Villeroy, say'st thou ? 

Car. Yes, my lord. 

Last night the priest perform'd his holy office, 
And made 'em one. 

C. Bald. Misfortune join 'em! 
And may her violated vows pull down 
A lasting curse, a constancy of sorrow 
On both their heads ' 1 have not yet forgot 
" Thy slighted passion, the refus'd alliance j 

20 ISABELLA; OR, Act 111. 

" But having her, we are reveng'd at full. 
" Heav'n will pursue her still, and Villeroy 
" Share the judgments she calls down." 

Car. Soon he'll hate her; 
Tho' warm and violent in his raptures now; 
When full enjoyment palls his sicken'd sense, 
And reason with satiety returns, 
Her cold constraint acceptance of his hand 
Will gall his pride, which (tho' oflate o'erpower'd 
By stronger passions) will, as they grow weak, 
Rise in full force, and pour its vengeance on her. 

C. Bald. Now, Carlos, take example to thy aid; 
Let Biron's disobedience, and the curse 
He took into his bosom, prove a warning, 
A monitor to thee, to keep thy duty 
Firm and unshaken. 

Car. May those rankling wounds 
Which Biron's disobedience gave my father, 
Be heal'd by me. 

C. Bald. With tears 1 thank thee, Carlos 
And may'st thou ever feel those inward joys, 
Thy duty gives thy father but, my son, 
We -must not let resentment choke" our justice; 
"Tis fit that Villeroy know he has no claim 

From me, in right of Isabella Biron, 

(Whose name brings tears) when wedded to this 


By me abandon'd, sunk the little fortune 
His uncle left, in vanity and fondness: 
I am possest of those your brother'spapers, 
Which now are Villeroy's, and should aught remain., 
In justice it is his; from me to him 

You shall convey them follow me, and take 'em. 

[Exit C.Baldwin. 

Car. Yes, I will take 'em ; but ere I part with 'em, 
I will be sure my interest will not suffer 
By these his high, refin'd, fantastic notions 
Qf equity and right What a paradox 
Is man ! My father here, who boasts his honour, 
And even but now was warm in praise of justice, 


Can steel his heart against the widow's tears, 
And infant's wants; the widow and the infant 
Of Biron; of his son, his fav'riteson. 
'Tis ever thus weak minds, who court opinion, 
And dead to virtuous feeling, hide their wants 
In pompous affectation Now to Villeroy 
Ere this his friends, for he is much belov'd, 
Crowd to his house, and with their nuptial songs 
Awake the wedded pair : I'll join the throng, 
And in my face, at least, bear joy and friendship. 


A Ball in VILLEROY'S House. A Band of Music, 

with the Friends oj VILLEROY. 

Enter a Servant. 

\xtFr. Where's your master, my good friend? 

St-r. Within, sir', 
Preparing for the welcome of his friends. 

1st ir. Acquaint him we are here: yet slay, 
The voice of music gently shall surprise him, 
And breathe our salutations to his ear. 
Sirike up the strain to Villeroy's happiness, 
To Isabella's But he's here already. 

ViL My friends, let me embrace you : 

Welcome all 

What means this preparation? [Seeing the Music. 

1st Fr. A slight token 

Of our best wishes for your growing happiness 

You must permit our friendship 

Vil. You oblige me 

1st Fr. But your lovely bride, 
That wonder of her sex, she must appear, 
And add new brightness to this happy morning. 

Vil. She is not yet prepar'd; and let her will, 
My worthiest friend, determine her behaviour ; 
To win, and not to force her disposition, 
Has been my seven year's task. She will anon 
Speak welcome to you all. The music stays. 

[Villeroy and his Friends seat themselves. 




Woman. Let all, let all be gay, 

Begin the rapt'rous lay; 
Let mirth; let mirth and joy, 
Each happy hour employ 
Of this fair bridal day. 
Man. Ye love-wing' d hours, your flight, 

Your downy flight prepare, 
Bring ev'ry soft delight 

To soothe the brave and fair. 
Hail, happy pair, thus in each other blest; 
Be ever free from care, of ev'ry joy possessed ! 

Vil. I thank you for the proof of your affection : 

I am so much transported with the thoughts 
Of what 1 am, 1 know not what I do. 

My Isabella! but possessing her, 

Who would not lose himself? You'll pardon me 

Oh! there was nothing wauling to my sou!, 

But the kind wishes of my loving friends 

*' But our collation waits;" where's Carlos now ? 

Methinks I am but half myself without him. 

VdFr. This is wonderful! Married a night and a 
day, and yet in raptures. 

l''il. Oh ! when you all get wives, and such as 


(If such another woman can be found) 
You will rave too, dote on the dear content, 
And prattle in their praise out of all bounds. 
I cannot speak my bliss! 'Tis in my head, 
'Tis in my heart, and takes up all my soul 
The labour of my fancy. You'll pardon me ; 
About some twelve mo'nths hence I may begin 
To speak plain sense Walk in and honour me." 

My Isabella! Oh the joy of my heart, 
That I have leave at last to call you mine! 

II When 1 give up that title to the charms 


" Of any other wish, be nothing mine:" 
But let me look upon you, view you well. 
This is a welcome gallantry indeed ! 
I durst not ask, but it was kind to grant, 
Just at this time : dispensing with your diess 
Upon this second day to greet our friends. 

ha. Black might be ominous; 
J would not bring ill luck along with me. 

Vil. Oh ! if your melancholy thoughts could change 
With shifting of your dress Time has done cures" 
Incredible this way, and may again. 

tsa. 1 could have wish'd, if you had thought it fit, 
Our marriage had not been so public. 

Vil. Do not you grudge me my excess of love ; 
That was a cause it could not be conceal'd : 
Besides, 'twould injure the opinion 
I have of my good fortune, having you ; 
And lessen it in other people's thoughts, 
" Busy on such occasions to enquire, 
< ( Had it been private." 

ha. I have no more to say. 

Enter CARLOS. 

Vil. My Carlos too, who came in lo'the support 
Of our bad fortune, has an honest right, 
In better times, to share the good with us. 

Car. I come to churn that right, to share your joy ; 
To wish you joy; and find it in myself; 
*' For a friend's happiness reflects a warmth, 
" A kindly comfort into every heart 
" That is not envious. 

Vil. " He must be a friend, 
" Who is not envious of a happiness 
" So absolute as mine ; but if you are 
*' (As 1 have reason to believe you arc) 
" Concern'd for my well-being, there's the cause; 
f< Thank her for what I am, and what must be." 

[Music flourish. 

I see you mean a second entertainment. 
My dearest Isabella, you must hear 
The raptures of my friends; from thee they spring 


Thy virtues have diflus'd themselves around, 
And made them all as happy as myself. 

Isa. I feel their favours with a grateful heart, 
And willingly comply. 


Take the gifts the gods intend ye ; 
Grateful meet the proffer'd joy: 
Truth and honour shall attend ye ; 
Charms that ne'er can change or cloy. 


Man. Oh, the raptures of possessing, 
Taking beauty to thy arms ! 
Woman. Oh thejoy, the lasting blessing, 

When with virtue beauty charms! 
Man. Purer flames shall gently warm ye ; 
Woman^ Love and honour both shall charm thee. 
Both. Oh the raptures of, &c. &c. 


Far from hence be care and strife, 
Far the pang that tortures life : 
May the circling minutes prove 
One sweet round of peace and love ! 

Car. 'Tis fine indeed ! 
You'll take my advice another time, sister. 

Vil. What have you done? A rising smile 
Stole from her thoughts, just red'ning on her cheek, 
And you havedash'd it. 

Car. I'm sorry for't. 

Vil. My friends, you will forgive me, when I own, 
I must prefer her peace to all the world. 
Come, Isabella, let us lead the way : 
\Vithin we'll speak our welcome to our friends, 
And crown the happy festival with joy. [Exeunt. 


A Room. Enter SAMPSON and Nurse. 
Samp. Ay, marry, nurse, here's a master indeed! 
He'll double our wages for us ! If he comes on as 


fast with my lady, as he does with his servants, we 
are all in the way to be vvell pleased. 

Nurse. He's in a rare humour, if she be in as good 
a one 

Samp. Jf she be, marry, we may e'en say, they have 
begot it upon one another. 

Nurse. Well ; why don't you go back again to your 
old count ? You thought your throat cut, I warrant 
you, to be turn'cl out of a nobleman's service. 

Samp. For the future, 1 will never serve in a house 
where the master or mistress of it lie single : they are 
out of humour with every body when they are not 
pleased themselves. Now, this matrimony makes 
every thing go vvell. There's mirth and money stir- 
ring about when those mutters go as they should do. 

Nurse. Indeed, this matrimony, Sampson 

Samp. Ah, nurse! this matrimony is a very good 

thing but, what, now my lady is married, I hope 

we shall have company come to the house: there's 
something always coming from one gentleman or 
other upon those occasions, if my lady loves com- 
pany. This feasting looks well, Nurse. 

Nurse. Odso, my master! we must not be seen. 


Enter VILLEROY, with a Letter, awe? ISABELLA. 

KM. 1 must away this moment see his letter, 
Sign d by himself: alas! he could no more; 
My brother's desperate, and cannot die 
In peace, but in my arms. 

Jsa. So suddenly ! 

Vil. Suddenly taken, on the road to Brussels, 
To do us honour, love; unfortunate! 
Thus to be torn from thee, and all those charms, 
Tho' cold to me ad dead. 

Jsa. I'm sorry for the cause. 

ViL Oh! could I think, 
Could I persuade myself that your concern 
For me, or for my absence, were the spring. 
The fountain of the?e melancholy thoughts, 
My heart would dance, spite of the sad occasion, 

26 ISABELLA; on. Act ILL 

And be a gay companion in my journey ; 


Enter CARLOS from Supper. 
My good Carlos, why have you left my friends? 

Car. They are departed home. 
They saw some sudden melancholy news 

Had stolen the lively colour from your cheek 

You had withdrawn'; the bride, alarm'd, had follow 1 
Mere ceremony had been constraint ; and this 
Good-natur'd rudeness 

Vil. Was the more obliging. 
There, Carlos, is the cause. [Gives the lett 

Car. Unlucky accident ! 

Th* archbishop of Malines, your worthy brother 
With him to-night ! Sister, will you permit it? 

Vil. It must be so. 

Isa. You hear it must be so. 

Vil. Oh, that it must ! 

Car. To leave your bride so soon. 

Pit. But having the possession of my love, 
I am the better able to support 
My absence, in the hopes of my return. 

"Car. Your stay will be but short ? 

Vil. It will seem long ! 
The longer that my Isabella sighs : 
I shall be jealous of this rival, grief, 
" That you indulge and fondle in my absence." 
It takes so full possession of thy heart, 
There is not room enough for mighty love. 

Enter Servant, and Lows. 

My horses wait: farewell, my love ! You, Carlos, 
Will act a brother's part, till I return, 
And be the guardian here. All, all I have 
That's dear to me, I give up to your care. 

Car. And I receive her as a friend and brother. 

Vil. Nay, stir not, love ! for the night air is cold, 
And the dews fall Here be our end of parting ; 
Carlos will see me to my horse. \_Exil with Carlos 

ha. Oh, may thy brother better all thy hones 


A sudden melancholy bakes my blood! 

Forgive me, Villeroy 1 do not find 

That cheerful gratitude thy service asks : 

Yet if I know my heart, and sure 1 do, 

Tis not averse from honest obligation. 

I'll to my chamber, and to bed ; my mind, 

My harass'd mind, is weary." \Exit. 


The Street. EnterBiKOX and BEL.vov.D,just arrived. 

Biron. THE longest day will have an end j we arc 
got home at last. 

Bel. We have got our legs at liberty ; and liberty 
is home wherever we go ; though mine lies most in 

Bir. Pray let me call this yours : for whar I can 
command in Brussels, you shall find your own. I 
have a father here, who, perhaps, after seven year* 
absence, and costing him nothing in my travels, may 
be glad to see me. You know my story How does 
my disguise become me? 

Bel. Ju?t as you would have it ; 'tis natural, and 
will conceal you. 

Bir. To-morrow you shall be sure to find me here, 
as early as you please. This is the house ; you have 
observed the street. 

Bel. I warrant you ; I ha'nt many visits to make 
before I come to yon. 

Bir. To-night 1 have some afiairs that will oblige 
me to be in private. 

Bel. A good bed is the privatest affair that I desire 
to be engaged in to-night ; your directions will carry 
me to my lodgings. [ Exit. 

Bir. Good night, my friend. [Knocks. 

The long expected moment is arriv'd 1 
And if all here is well, my past sorrows 
Will only heighten my excess of joy ; 
And nothing will remain to wish or hope for ! 

[Knoc ks again. 
D 2 

28 ISABELLA J OR, Act lV. 


Samp. Who's there? What wonM you have? 

Bir. h your lady at home, friend ? 

Samp. Why truly, friend, it is my employment, to 
answer impertinent questions : but for my ladVs being 
at home, or no, that'sjust as my lady pleases. 

Bir. But how shall I know whether it pleases her 
or no? 

Sump. Why, if you'll take my word for it, you 
may carry your errand back again : she never pleases 
to see any body at this time of night that she does 
not know ; and by your dress and appearance I'm sure 
you must be a stranger to her. 

Bir, but I have business ; and you don't know how 
that may please her. 

Samp. Nay, if you have business, she is the best 
judge whether your business will please her or no ; 
therefore 1 will proceed in my office, and know of 
my lady, whether or no she is pleas'd to be at home, 
or no~ [Gofng. 

Enter Nurse. 

Nurse. Who's that you are so busy withal ? Me- 
thinks you might have found out an answer in fewer 
words ; but, Sampson, you love to hear yourself prate 
sometimes, as well as your betters, that I must say for 
you. Let me come to him. Who would you speak 
vrith, stranger? 

Bir. With your mistress, if you could help me to 
speak to your lady. 

Nurse'. Yes, sir, I can help you in a civil way : 
but can nobo'dy do your business but my lady? 

Bir. Not so well; but if you carry her this ring, 
she'll know rny business better. 

Nurse. There's no love-letter in it, I hope ; you 
look like a civil gentleman. In an honest way, I may 
bring you an answer. [ Erif. 

Bir. My old nurse, only a little older! " They say 

the tongue grows always : mercy on me ! then 
;ven years longer since I "left her." Yet 


ihtre's something in these servants' folly pleases me; 
the cautious conduct of the family appears, and speaks 

in their impertinence. Well, mistress 

Nurse returns. 

Nurse. I have deliver'cl your ring, sir; pray Heav'n 
you bring no had news along with you. 

Bir. Quite contrary, 1 hope. 

Nurse. Nay, I hope so too ; but my lady was very 
much surpris'd when I gave it her. Sir, I am but a 
servant, as a body may say ; but if you'll walk in, 
that 1 may shut the doors, for we keep very orderly 
hours, 1 can shew you into the parlour, and help you 
to an answer, perhaps, as soon as those that are wiser. 


Bir. I'll follow you 

Now all my spirits hurry to my heart, 

And every sense has taken the alarm 

At this approaching interview ! 

Heav'ns ! how J tremble ! [Exit info Ike house. 


A Chamber. Enter ISABELLA. 
ha. I've heard of witches, magic spells, and charms, 
That have made nature start from her old course: 
The sun has been eclips'd, the moon drawn down 
From her career, still paler, and subdued 
To the abuses of this under world! 
Now 1 believe all possible. This ring, 
This little ring, with necromantic force, 
Has rais'd the ghost of pleasure to my fears : 
Conjur'd the sense of honour, and of love, 
Into such shapes, they fright me from myself! 

I dare not think of them 

" I'll call you when I want you. [Servant goes out.'' 

Enter Nurse. 

Nurse. Madam, the gentleman's below. 
Isu. I had forgot: pray let me speak with him. 

[Exit Nurse 

This ring was the first present of my love 
D 3 


To Biron, my first husband ; I must blush 

To think I have a second. Biron died 

(Still to my loss) at Candy ; there's my hope. 

Oh, do I live to hope that he died there ! 

It must be so : he's dead, and this ring left 

By his last breath, to some known faithful friend, 

To bring me back again ; 

[Biron introduced Nurse retires. 

That's all I have to trust to 

My fears were woman's 1 have vievv'd him all : 

And let me, let me say it to myself, 

I live again, and rise but from his tomb. 

Bir. Have you forgot me quite ? 

Isa. Forgot you ! 

Bir. Then farewell my disguise, and my misfortunes. 
My Isabella! 

[He goes to her ; she shrieks, and falls in a swoon. 

Isa. Ha! 

Bir. Oh ! come again : 
Thy Biron summons thee to life and love ; 
" Once I had charms to wake ihee :" 
Thy once-lov'd, ever-loving husband calls 
Thy Biron speaks to thee. 

Isa. My husband! Biron! 

Bir. Excess of love and joy, for my return, 

Has overpovver'd her 1 was to blame 

To take thy sex's softness unprepar'd : 
But sinking thus, thus dying in my arms, 
This ecstacy has made my welcome more 
Than words could say : words may be counterfeit, 
False- coin'd, and current only from the tongue, 
Without the mind ; but passion's in the soul, 
And always speaks the heart. 

Isa. Where have 1 been ? Why do you keep him 

from me ? 

I know his voice : my life upon the wing, 
Hears the soft lure that brings me back again ; 
'Tis he himself, my Biron, the dear man ! 
My true-lov'd husband ! Do 1 hold you fast, 
Never to part again ? " Can I believe it ? 


" Nothing but you could work so great a change, 
" There's more than life itself in dying here." 
If I must fall, death's welcome in these arms. 

Bir. Live ever in these arms. 

Isa. But pardon me, 
Excuse the wild disorder of my soul : 
The joy, the strange surprising joy of seeing you, 
Of seeing you again, distracted me 

Bir. Thou everlasting goodness ! 

Isa. Answer me: 

What hand of Providence has brought you back 
To your own home again? O, satisfy 
Th' impatience of my heart : I long to know 
The stfti y of your sufferings. " You would think 
" Your pleasures sufferings, so long remov'd 
" From Isabella's love." But tell me all, 
For every thought confounds me. 

Bir. My best life; at leisure, ail. 

fsa. We thought you dead ; kill'd at the siege of 

Bir. There I fell among the dead ; 
But hopes of life reviving from my wounds, 
I was preserv'd but to be made a slave : 
I often writ to my hard father, but never had 
An answer ; I writ to thee too 

Isa. What a world of woe 
Had been prevented but in hearing from you ! 

Bir, Alas ! thou could'st not help rne. 

Isa. You do not know how much I could ha' done; 
At least, I'm sure I could have suffer'd all : 
1 would have sold myself to slavery, 
Without redemption"; giv'n up my child, 
The dearest part of me, to basest wants 

Bir. My little boy! 

Isa. My life, but to have heard 
You were alive, which now too late I find. [Aside. 

Bir. No more, my love; complaining of the past, 
We lose the present joy. 'Tis over price 

Of all my pains, that thus we meet again 

1 have a thousand things to say to thee 

32 ISABELLA; OR, Act H 7 . 

ha. Would I were past, the bearing. [Aside. 

Bir. How does my child, my boy ; my father, too, 
I hear he's living still? 

Jsa. Well both, both well ; 
And may he prove a father to your hopes, 
Though we have found him none. 

Bir. Come, no more tears. 

Isa. Seven long years of sorrow for your loss, 
Have mourn'd with me 

Bir. And all my days behind 
Shall be employ'd in a kind recompence 
For thy afflictions Can't I see my boy? 

Jsa. He's gone to bed : I'll have him brought to you. 

Bir. To-morrow 1 shall see him ; I want rest 
Myself, after this weary pilgrimage. 

Isa. Alas! what shall I get for you? 

Bir. Nothing but resc, my love ! "To-night 1 wonl< 


Be known, if possible, to your family : 
I see my Nurse is with you ; her welcome 
Wou'd be tedious at this time; 
To-morrow will do better. 

ha. I'll dispose of her, and order every thing 
As you wou'd have it. [Exit. 

Bir. Grant me but life, good Heav'n, and give the 


To make this wondrous goodness some amends : 
And let me then forget her, if I can ! 

! she deserves of me much more than I 
Can lose for her, though I again cou'd venture 
A father, and his fortune, for her love ! 

You wretched fathers, blind as fortune all! 
Not to perceive that such a woman's worth 
Weighs down the portions you provide your sons : 
What is your trash, what all your heaps of gold, 
Com par' J to this, mv heart-felt happiness? 

[Bursts into tears. 

What has she, in my absetft-e, undergone? 

1 must not think of that ; it drives me back 
Upon myself, the fatal cause of all. 


ISABELLA returns. 

Isa. I have obey'd your pleasure ; 
Every thing is ready for you. 

Bir. I can want nothing here; possessing thee, 
All my desires are carried to their aim 
Of happiness : there's no room for a wish, 
But to continue still this blessing to me: 
I know the way; my love; " I shall sleep sound." 

ha Shall I attend you ? 

Bir. By no means ; 

I've been so long a slave to others' pride, 
To learn, at least, to wait upon myself; 
You'll make haste after [Goes in. 

Isa. I'll but say my prayers, and follow you 

My prayers! no, 1 must never pray again. 
Prayers have their blessings to reward our hopes, 
But I have nothing left to hope for more. 
What Heav'n could give, 1 have enjoy'd ; but now 
The baneful planet rises on my fate, 
And what's to come is a long line of woe, 

Yet I may shorten it 

I promis'd him to follow him ! 

Is he without a name? Biron, my husband, 

To follow him to bed my husband ! ha ! 

What then is Villeroy? But yesterday 

That very bed receiv'd him for its lord, 

" Yet a warm witness of my broken vows." 

Oh, Biron, hadst thou come but one day sooner, 

I would have follow'd thee through beggary, 

Through all the chances of this weary life: 

Wander'd the many ways of wretchedness 

With thee, to find a hospitable grave; 

For that's the only bed that's left me now. [JVeeping. 

What's to be done 'for something must be done. 

Two husbands ! yet not one ! By both enjoy'd, 
And yet a wife to neither ! Hold, my brain - 
" This is to live in common! Very beasts, 
" That welcome all they meet, make just such wives. 
f< My reputation! Oh, 'twas all was left me! 


The virtuous pride of an uncensur'd life, 
Which the dividing tongues of Biron's wrongs, 
And Villeroy's resentments, tear asunder, 
To gorge the throats of the blaspheming rabble. 
This is the best ofSvhat can come to-morrow, 
Besides old Baldwin's triumph in my ruin : 

I cannot bear it 

Therefore no morrow :" Ha! a lucky thought 
Works the right way to rid me of 'em all ; 
All the reproaches, infamies, and scorns, 
That every tongue and finger will find for me. 
Let the just horror of my apprehensions 
But keep me warm no matter what can come. 
'Tis but a blow yet I will see him first, 
Have a last look to heighten my despair, 
And then to rest for ever. 

BIRON meets her. 

Bir. Despair and rest for ever! Isabella ! 
These words are far from thy condition ! 
And be they ever so. I heard thy voice, 
And could not/bear thy absence: come, my love! 
You have staid long; there's nothing, nothing sure 
Now to despair of in succeeding fate. 

Isa. I am contented to be miserable, 
But not this way : I've been too long abus'd, 
And can believe no more. 
Let me sleep on to be deceiv'd no more. 

Bir. Look up, my love; I never did deceive thce, 
Nor never can ; believe thyself, thy eyes, 
That first inflam'd and lit me to my love, 
Those stars, that still must guide me to my joys 

Isa. And me to my undoing: I look round, 
And find no path, but leading to the grave. 

Bir. I cannot understand thee. 

Isa. <c My good friends above, 
" I thank 'em, have at last found out a way 
" To make my fortune perfect ; having you, 
i( I need no more ; my fate is finish'd here. 

" Bir. Both our ill fates, I hope. 


" Isa. Hope is a lying, {'awning flatterer, 
*' That shews the fair side only of our fortunes, 
" To cheat us easier into our fall; 
tc A trusted friend, who only can betray you; 
" Never believe him more." If marriages 
Are made in Heav'n, they should be happier. 
Why was I made this wretch? 

Bir. Has marriage made thee wretched? 

Isa. Miserable, beyond the reach of comfort. 

Bir. Do I live to near thee say so ? 

Isa. Why! what did I say? 

Bir. That I have made thee miserable. 

Isa. No : you are my only earthly happiness; 
And my false tongue bely'd my honest heart, 
If it said otherwise. 

Bir. And yet you said, 
Your marriage made you miserable. 

Isa. I know not what I said : 
I've said too much, unless I could speak all. 

Bir. Thy words are wild ; my eyes, my ears., my 


Were all so full of thee, so much employ'd 
In wonder of thy charms, 1 could not find it ; 
Now I perceive it plain 

Isa. You'll tell no body [Distractedly. 

Bir. Thou art not well. 

Isa. Indeed I am not ; I knew that before; 
But where's the remedy ? 

Bir. Rest will relieve thy cares ; come, come, no 

more ; 
I'll banish sorrow from thee. 

Isa. Banish first the cause. 

Bir. Heav'n knows how willingly. 

Jsa. You are the only cause. 

Bir. Am I the cause? the cause of thy misfortunes? 

Isa. Tne fatal innocent cause of all my woes. 

Bir. Is this my welcome home ? This the reward 
Of all my miseries, long labours, pains, 
And pining wants of wretched slavery, 
Which I've outliv'd, only in hopes of thee : 


Am I ihus paid at last for deathless love, 
And call'd the cause of thy misfortunes now? 

Isa. Enquire no more; 'iwill beexplain'd too soon. 

[She's goijig off. 

Sir. What ! canst thou leave me too? [// stays her. 

Isa. Pray let me go: 
For both our sakes, permit me 

Bir. Rack me not with imaginations 

Of things impossible Thou canst not mean 

What thou hast said Yet something she must mean. 
'Tvvas madness all Compose thyself, my love! 
The fit is past; all may be well again : 
Let us to-bed. 

ha. To bed ! You've rais'd the storm 
Will sever us for ever. Oh, Biron ! 

While I have life,, still 1 must call you mine : 

I know I am, and always was, unworthy 

To be the happy partner of your love ; 

And now must never, never share it more. 

But oh ! if ever I was dear to you, 

As sometimes you have thought me," on my knees, 
(The last time I shall care to be believ'd) 
1 heg you, beg to think me innocent, 
Clear of all crimes, that thus can banish me 
Prom this world's comforts, in my losing you. 

" Bir. Where will this end ? 

" Isa. The rugged hand of fate has got between 
fc Our meeting hearts, and thrusts them from their 

" joys :" 
Since we must part 

13ir. Nothing shall ever part us. 

*' Isa. Parting's the least that is set down for me; 
" Heav'n has decreed, and we must suffer all. 

" Bir. 1 know thee innocent : 1 know myself so: 
" Indeed we both have been unfortunate; 
" But^ure misfortunes ne'er were faults in love.'* 

Isa. Oh ! there's a fatal story to be told ; 
Be deaf to that, as Heav'n has been to me! 
And rot the tongue that shall reveal nr.y shame:" 


When thou shall hear how much thou hast been 


How wilt thou curse thy fond believing heart, 
Tear me from the warm bo^om of thy love, 
And throw me like a pois'nous weed away: 
" Can I bear that? Bear to be curst and torn, 
" And thrown out of thy family and name, 
" Like a disease?" Can 1 bear this from thee? 
" I never can:" No, all things have their end. 
When I am dead, forgive and pity me.' [Exit. 

13ir. Stay, my Isabella 

What can she mean ? These doublings will distract 

me : 
Some hidden mischief soon will burst tolighl ; 

] cannot bear il 1 musl be satisfied 

'Tis she, my wife, must clear this darkness to me 

She shall If the sad tale at last must come ! 

She is my fate, and lest can speak my doom. 



Enter BIRON, Nurse following him. 
Biron. I KNOW enough; lh' important question 
Of life or death, fearful to be resolv'd, 
Is clear'd lo me: I see where it musl end ; 
And need enquire no more Pray, let me have 
Pen, ink, and paper; I must write a- while, 

And then I'll try to rest lo rest for ever ! 

[Exit Nurse. 

Poor Isabella ! now I know the cause, 
The cause of thy distress, and cannot wonder 
That it has turii'd thy brain. If I look back 
Upon thy loss, it will distract me too. 
Oh, any curse but this might be remov'd \ 
But 'twas the rancorous malignity 

Of all ill stars combin'd, of heav'n, and fate 

Hbld, hold my impious tongue Alas! 1 rave : 
Why do I tax the stars, or heav'n, or fate ? 
They are all innocent of driving us 

38 ISABELLA; OR, Act V, 

Into despair ; they have not urg'd my doom ; 
My father and my brother are my fates, 
That drive me to my ruin. They knew well 
I was alive. Too well they knew how dear 

My Isabella Oh, my wife no more! 

How dear her love was to me Yet they stood, 

With a malicious silent joy, stood by, 

And saw her give up all my happiness, 

The treasure of her beauty to another: 

* f Stood by, and saw her marry'd to another :" 

Oh, cruel father ! and unnatural brother ! 

" Shall I not tell you that you have undone me?" 

J have but to accuse you of my wrongs, 

And then to fall forgotten Sleep or death 

Sits heavy on me, and benumbs my pains : 
Either is welcome; but the hand of death 
Works always sure, and best can close my eyes. 


Enter Nurse and SAMPSON. 
Nurse. Here's strange things towards, Sampson: 
what will be the end of 'em, do you think? 

Samp. Nay, marry, Nurse, I can't see so far; but 
the law, I believe, is on Biron, the first husband's 

Nurse. Yes; no question, he has the law on his side. 
Samp. For I have heard, the law says, a woman 
must be a widow all out seven years, before she can 
marry again, according to law. 

Nurse. Ay, so it does ; and our lady has not been 
a widow all together seven years. 

Samp. Why then, Nurse, mark my words, and say 
I told you so : the man must have his wife again, ani 
all will do well. 

Nurse. But if our master, Villeroy, comes back 


Samp. Why, if he does, he is not the first man that 
has had his wife taken from him. 

Nurse. For fear of the worst, will you go to the 
old count, desire him to come as soon as he can ; there 
may be mischief, and he is able to prevent it. 


Samp. Now you say something; now I take\ou. 
Nurse; that will do well, indeed: mischief should 
be prevented ; a little thing will make a quarrel, when 
there's a woman in the way. I'll about it instantly. 


Draws, shews BIRON asleep on a Couch. Enter 

Isa. Asleep so soon ! Oh, happy! happy thou, 

Who thus can sleep! I never shall sleep more 

if then to sleep be to be happy, he 
Who sleeps the longest is the happiest; 
Death is the longest sleep Oh, nave a care ! 
Mischief will thrive apace. Never wake more. 

[To Biron. 

If thou didst ever love thy Isabella, 
To-morrow must be doomsday to thy peace. 

The sight of him disarms ev'n death itself. 

The starting transport of new quick'ning life 

Gives just such hopes; and pleasure grows again 

With looking on him Let me look my last 

But is a look enough for parting love! 

Sure I may take a kiss Where am 1 going 

Help, help me, Villeroy! Mountains and seas 
Divideyour love, never to meet my shame. 

f Throws herself upon the Floor ; after a short 

Pause, she raises herself upon her Elbow. 
What will this battle of the brain do with me ! 
This little ball, this ravag'd province, long 
Cannot maintain The globe of earth want* room 

And food for such a war 1 find I'm going 

Famine, plagues, and flames, 

Wide waste and desolation do your work 

Upon the world, and then devour yourselves. 

The scene shifts fast [She rises. ~\ and now 'ti? 

better with me; 

Conflicting passions have at last unhing'd 
The great machine! the soul itself seems chang'd ! 
Oh, 'tis a happy revolution here! 
f The reas'ning faculties are all dispos'd; 



Judgment, and understanding, common sense, 

Driv'n out as traitors to the public peace. 

Now I'm reveng'd upon my memory, 

Her seat dug up, where all the images 

Of a long mis-spent life, were rising still, 

To glare a sad reflection of my crimes, 

And stab a conscience thro' 'em ! You are safe, 

You monitors of mischief! What a change! 

Better and better still ! This is the infant state 

Of innocence, before the birth of care. 

My thoughts are smooth as the Elysian plains, 

Without a rub: the drowsy falling streams 

Invite me to their slumbers. 

Would I were landed there " [Sinks into a Chair. 

What noise was that? a knocking at the gate I 

It may be Villeroy No matter who. 

Sir. Come, Isabella, come. 

ha. Hark ! I'm call'd ! 
Bir. You stay too long from me. 
Isa. A man's voice! in ivy bed! How came he 

Nothing but villainy in this bad world; [Rises. 

<( Coveting neighbours' goods, or neighbours' wives:" 

Here's physic for your fever. 

[Draws a dagger, and goes backward to the couch. 

" Breathing a vein is the old remedy." 

If husbands go to Heav'n, 

Where do they go that send 'em? This to try - 

[Just going to stab him, he rises, she knoivs 
him, and shrieks. 

What do I see! 
Bir. Isabella, arm'd! 
Isa. Against my husband's life! 

" Who, but the wretch, most reprobate to grace, 

f< Despair e'er hardened for damnation, 

" Could think of such a deed Murder my husband!" 
Bir. Thou didst not think it. 
Jsa. Madness has brought me to the gates of hell, 

And there has left me. " Oh, the frightful change 

" Of my distractions! Or is this interval 


" Of reason but to aggravate my woes, 

" To drive the horror back with greater force 

" Upon my soul, and fix me mad for ever ?" 

Bir. Why dost thou fly me so ! 

Isa. I cannot bear his sight ; distraction, come, 
Possess me all, antl take me to thyself! 
Shake off thy chains, and hasten to my aid; 

Thou art my only cure Like other friends, 

*' He will not come to my necessities ; 

** Then I must go to find the tyrant out : 

" Which is the nearest way?" [Running out. 

Bir, Poor Isabella, she's not in a condition 
To give me any comfort, if she could : 
Lost to herself as quickly I shall be 

To all the world Horrors come fast around me ; 

My mind is overcast the gathering clouds 
Darken the prospect I approach the brink, 
And soon must leap the precipice! Oh, Heav'n ! 
While yet my senses are my own ; thus kneeling, 
Let me implore thy mercies on my wife: 
Release her from her pangs ; and if my reason, 
O'erwhclm'cl with miseries, sink before the tempest, 
Pardon those crimes despair may bring upon me. 

Enter Nurse. 

Nurse. Sir, there's somebody at the door must 
needs speak with you ; he won't tell his name. , 

Bir. I come to him. [Exit Nurse. 
'Tis Bel ford, I suppose ; he little knows 
Of what has happened here; 1 wanted him, 
Must employ his friendship, and then [Exit. 


The Street. Enter CARLOS with three Ruffians, 
Car. A younger brother! 1 was one too long, 

Not to prevent my being so again. 

We must be sudden. Younger brothers are 

But lawful bastards of another name, 

Thrust out of their nobility of birth 

And family, and tainted into trades. 


Shall I be one of them Bow, and retire, 
To make more room for the unwieldy heir 
To play the fool in ? No 
But how shall I prevent it? Biron comes 
To take possession of my father's love 
Would that were all ; there's a birth right too 
That he will seize. Besides, if Biron lives, 
He will unfold some practices, which 1 
Cannot well answer therefore he shall die; 
This night must be dispos'd of: I have means 
That will not fail my purpose. Here he comes. 

Bir. Ha! ami beset! 1 live but to revenge me. 

[They surround him jighting ', Villeroy enters with 

two Servants ; they rescue him ; Carlos and his 

Party fly. 

Vil How are you, sir? Mortally hurt I fear. 
Take care, and lead him in. 

Bir. I thank you for the goodness, sir; tho' 'tis 
Bestow'd upon a very wretch ; and death, 
Tho' from a villain's hand, had been to me 
An act of kindness, and the height of mercy 
But I thank you, sir. \_He is led in. 


The Inside of the House. Enter ISABELLA. 
l$a. Murder my husband ! Oh! I must not dare 

To think of living on ; my desperate hand 

In a mad rage may offer it again. 

Stab me any where but there. Here's room enough 

I n my own breast to act the fury in, 

The proper scene of mischief. " Villeroy comes; 
Villeroy and Biron come ! Oh! hide me from 'em 
They rack, they tear; let'em carve out my limbs, 
Divide my body to their equal claims : 
My soul is only Biron's ; that is free, 
And thus 1 strike for him and liberty. 1 ' 
iGoing to stab herself, Villeroy runs in and prevents 
Jier, ly taking the Dagger fio7n her, 


ViL Angels defend and save thee 1 
Attempt thy precious life! " the treasury 
" Of nature's sweets! life of my little world!" 
Lay violent hands upon thy innocent self! 

Isa. Swear I am innocent, and I'll believe you. 
W T hat wouid you have with me? Pray let me go. 

Are you there, sir ? You are the very man 

Have clone all this You would have made 

Me believe you married me; but the fool 

Was wiser, 1 thank you : 'tis not all gospel 

You men preach upon that subject." 

Vil. Dost thou riot know me, love? 

Isa. O yes : very well. [Staring on him. 

You are the widow's comforter : " that marries 
** Any woman when her husband's out of the way : 
*' But I'll never, never take your word again. 

l-'iL " I am thy loving husband." 
'Tis Vilicroy , thy husland. 

Isa. 1 have none ; no husband [Weeping. 

Never had but one, and he died at Candy, 
" Did he not? I'm sure you told me so; you, 
4< Or somebody, with just such a lying look, 
" As you have now." Speak, did he not die there? 

Vil. He did, my life. 

Isa. But swear it, quickly swear, 

BIRON enters bloody, and leaning upon his Sword. 
Before that screaming evidence appears, 

In bloody proof against me 

[She seeing Biron swoons into a Chair j Villeroy 

helps her. 

Vil. Help there ! Nurse, where are you ! 
Ha ! I am distracted too ! 

[Going to call for help, sees Biron. 
Biron alive! 

Bir. The only wretch on earth that must not live. 
Vil. Biron or Viileroy must not, that's decreed. 
Bir. You've s-iv'cl me from the hands of murderers: 
Would you had not, for life's my greatest plague 
And then, of all the world, yon are the man 

44 ISABELLA; OR, Act V. 

I would not be oblig'd to Isabella ! 
I came to fall before thee : I had dy'd 
Happy not to have found your Villcroy here : 
A long farewell and a last parting kiss. [Kisses her. 

Yil. A kiss! confusion ! it must be your last. 


Bir I know it must Here I give up that death 
You but delay 'd : since what is past has been 
The work of fate, thus we must finish it. 
Thrust home, be sure. [Faints. 

Til. Alas! he faints ! some help there. 

Sir. 'Tis all in vain, my sorrows soon will end 
Oh, Vilbroy ! let a dying wretch entreat you 
To take this* letter to my father. My Isabella ! 
Could st thou but hear me, my last words should bless 


I canr.ot, tho' in death, bequeath her to thee. [To Vi!. 
But I could hope my boy, my little one, 
Might find a father iti thee Oh, I faint 
I can no more Hear me, Heav'n ! Oh ! support 
My wife, my Isabella Bless my child ! 
And take u poor unhappy * [Dies. 

Vil. He's gone Let what will be the consequence, 
I'll give it him. 1 have involv'd myself, 
And would be clear'd ; that must be thought on now. 
My care of her is lost in wild amaze. [Going to Isa. 
" Are you all dead within there? Where, where are 

" you?" 

Good Nurse take care of her ; I'll bring you more help. 

Isabella comes to herself. 

Isa. Where have 1 been ? Methinks I stand upon 
The brink of life, ready to shoot the gulph 
That lies between me and the realms of rest : 
Hr.t still detaiu'd, 1 cannot pass the strait ; 
Deny'd to live, and yet I must not die : 
Dooni'd to come back, like a complaining ghosl, 

To my unbury'd body Here it lies 

[Throws herself by Biron's body. 
My body, soul, and life. A little dust, 


To cover our cold limbs in the dark grave 

There, there we shall sleep safe and sound together. 
JSVz^rViLLERoY wit /i Servants. 

Vil. Poor wretch; upon the ground! she's not herself: 
Remove her from the body. [Servants goingtoraise her. 

Isa. Never, never 

You have divorc'd us once, but shall no more 

Help, help me, JBiron ? Ha ! bloody and dead ! 
Oh, murder ! murder ! you have done this deed 
Vengeance and murder ! bury us together 
Do any thing but part us. 

Vil, Gently > gently raise her. 
She must be forc'd away. 

[Ske drags the Body after her ; they get her into 
their Arms, and carry her off'. 

Isa. Oh, they tear me ! Cut oti' my hands 

Let me leave something with him 

They'll clasp him fast 

Oh, cruel, cruel men ! 

This you must answer one day. 

Vil. Good Nurse, take care of her. 

[Nurse follows her. 

Send for all helps : all, all that I am worth, 
Shall cheaply buy her peace of mind again. 
" Be sure you do, [To a Servant. 

" Just as 1 order'dyou." The storm grows louder. 
[Knocking at the door. 
I am prepar'd for it. Now let them in. 

Enter Count BALDWIN, CARLOS, BELYORD, Friends, 
with Servants. 

C. Bald. Oh, do I live to this unhappy day ! 
Where is my wretched son ? 

Car. Where is my brother ? 

{They see him, and gather about the Body. 

Vil. I hope in Heav'n. 

Car. Canst thou pity ! 

Wish him in Heav'n, when thou hast done a deed. 
That must for ever cut thee from the hopes 
Of ever coming there. 


Vil. I do not blame you 

V ou have a brother's right to be concern'd 
For his untimely death. 

Car. Untimely death, indeed ! 

Vil. But yet you must not say, I was the cause. 

Car. Not you the cause ! Why, who should mur- 
der him? 

We do not ask you to accuse yourself ; 
But I must say that you have murder'd him ; 
And will say nothing else, till justice draws 
Upon our side, at the loud call of blood, 
To execute so foul a murderer. 

Bel. Poor Biron ! Is this thy welcome home ! 

Friend, Rise, sir ; there is a comfort in revenge, 
Which is left you . \To C. Bald . 

Car. Take the body hence. [Biron carried off. 

C. Bald. What could provoke yon ? 

Vil. Nothing could provoke me 
To abase murder, which, 1 find, you think 
Me guilty of. I know my innocence; 
My servants too can witness that I drew 
My sword in his defence, to rescue him. 

Bel. Let the servants be call'd. 

Fr. Let's hear what they can say. 

Car. What they can say ! Why, what should ser- 
vants say ? 

They're his accomplices, his instruments, 
And will not charge themselves. If they could do 
A murder for his service, they can lie, 
Lie nimbly, and swear hard to bring him off. 
You say you drew your sword in his defence : 
Who were his enemies ? Did he need defence ? 
Had he wrong'd any one ? Could he have cause 
To apprehend a danger, but from you ? 
And yet you rescu'cl him ! No, no, became 
Unseasonably (that was all his crime) 
Unluckily 10 interrupt your sport : 
You were new marry'd marry'd to his wife: 
And therefore you, and she, and all of you, 
(For all of you I must believe concern'd) 


Combin'd to murder him out of the way. 

Bel. If it is so 

Car. It can be only so. 

Fr. Indeed it has a face- 
Car. As black as hell. 

C. Bald. The law will do me justice : send for the 

Car. I'll go myself for him [Exit, 

Vil. These strongpresumptions, I must own, indeed, 
Are violent against me; but I have 
A witness, and on this side Heav'n too. 
Open that door. 

[Door opens, and Pedro is Irought forward ly 

Villeroy's Servants. 
Here's one can tell you all. 

Ped. All, all j save me but from the rack, I'll con- 
fess all. 

Vil. You and your accomplices design'd 
To murder Biron! Speak. 

Ped. We did. 

Vil. Did you engage upon your private wrongs,, 
Or were employ'd ? 

Ped. He never did us wrong. 

Vil. You were set on then ? 

Ped. We were set on. 

Vil. What do you know of me? 

Ped. Nothing, nothing: 
You sav'd his life, and have discovered me. 

Vil. He has acquitted me. 
If you would be resoiv'd of any thing, 
He stands upon his answer. 

Bel. Who set you on to act this horrid deed? 

C. Bald. I'll know the villain; give me quick his 

Or I will tear it from thy bleeding heart. 

Ped. I will confess. 

C. Bald. Do then. 

Ped. It was my master, Carlos, your own son. 

C. Bald. Oh, monstrous! monstrous! most un- 
natural ! 

48 ISABELLA; OR, Act V. 

Eel. Did he employ you to murder his own brother! 

Ped. He did ; arid he was whh us when 'twas done. 

C. Bald. If this be true, this horrid, horrid tale, 
It is but just upon me: Biron's wrongs 
Must be reveng'd; and I the cause of all. 

Fr. What will you do with him? 

C. Bald. Take him-apart 

1 know too much. [Pedro goes in. 

Fit. I had forgot Your wretched, dying son. 
Gave me this letter for you. [Gives it to Baldwin. 
I dare deliver it. It speaks of me; 
I pray to have it read. 

C. Bald. You know the hand. 

Bel. I know 'tis Biron's hand. 

C. Bald. Pray read it. [Belford reads the Letter. 

' SIK, 

' I find I am come only to lay my death at your 
door. 1 am now going out of the world ; but cannot 
forgive you, nor my brother Carlos, for not hinder- 
ing my poor wife Isabella from marrying with Vil- 
Jeroy; when you both knew,, from so many letters, 
that I was alive. "BiRON.' 

Fil. How Did you know it then? 

C. Bald. Amazement, all! 

Enter CARLOS, with Officers. 
Oh, Carlos, are you come? Your brother here, 
Here, in a wretched letter, lays his death 
To you and me Have you done any thing 
To hasten his sad end ? 

Car. Bless me, sir, I do any thing ! Who, 1? 

C. Bald. He talks of letters that were sent to us. 
I never heard of any Did you know 
He was alive ? 

Car. Alive ! Heav'n knows, not I. 

C. Bald. Had you no news of him, from a report, 
Or letter, never? ' 

Car. Never, never I. 

Bel. That's strange, indeed ; I know he often writ 
To lay before you the conditions [To C. Bald. 

Of his hard slavery: and more I know, 


That he had several answers to his letters. 

He said, they came from you ; you are his brother 

Car. Never from me. 

Bel. That will appear. 
The letters, I believe, are still about him ; 
For some of 'em 1 saw but yesterday. 

C. Bald. What did those answers say ? 

Bel. I cannot speak to the particulars ; 
But I remember well, the sum of 'em 
Was much the same, and all agreed, 
That there was nothing to be hop'd from you : 
That 'twas your barbarous resolution 
To let him perish there. 

C.Bald. Oh, Carlos! Carlos! hadst thou been a 

Car. This is a plot upon me. I never knew 
He was in slavery, or was alive, 
Or heard of him, before this fatal hour. 

Bel. There, sir, I must confront you. 
He sent you a letter, to my knowledge, last night ; 
And you sent him word you would come to him 
1 fear vou came too soon. 

C. Bald. 'Tis all too plain.. 

Bring out that wretch before him. [Pedro produced. 

Car. Ha! Pedro there! Then 1 am caught, in- 

Bel. You start at sight of him ; 
He has confess'd the bloody deed. 

Car. Well then, he has confess'd, 
And 1 must answer it. 

J3el. Is there no more ? 

Car. Why ! what would you have more ? I know 

the worst, 
And I expect it. 

C. Bald. Why hast thou done all this ? 

Car. Why, that which damns most men has ruin'd 

me ; 

The making of my fortune. Biron stood 
Between me and your favour : while he liv'd, 
I had not that 5 hardly was thought a son, 

50 ISABELLA; OR, Attl'. 

And not at all a-kin to your estate. 
I could not bear a younger brother's lot, 

To live depending on a courtesy 

Had you provided for me like a father, 
I had been still a brother. 

C. Bald. Tis too true ; 
I never lov'd thee, as I should have done : 
Jt was my sin, and I am punish'd for't. 
Oh ! never may distinction rise again 
In families; let parents be the same 
To all their children ; common in their care, 
And in their love of 'em I am unhappy, 
For loving one too well. 

Vil. You knew your brother liv'd ; why did you take 
Such pains to marry me to Isabella? 

Car. I had my reasons for't 

Vil. More than I thought you had. 

Car. But one was this " 

I knew my brother lov'd his wife so well, 
That if he ever should come home again, 
He could not long outlive the loss of her. 

Bel. If you rely'd on that, why did you kill him? 

Car. To make all sure. Now, you are answer d all. 
Where must I go? I am tired of your questions. 

C, Bald. I leave the judge to tell thee what thou art; 
A father cannot find a name for thee. 
But parricide is highest treason, sure, 
To sacred nature's law ; and must be so, 
So sentenc'd in thy crimes. Take him away 
The violent remedy is found at last, 
That drives thee out, thou poison of my blood, 
Infected long, and only foul in thee. [Carlos led off, 
Grant me, sweet Heav'n ! the patience to go thro' 
The torment of my cure. Here, here begins 
The operation Alas! she's mad. 
Enter ISABELLA distracted, held .ly her Women ; her 

Hair disheveird ; her little Son running in before^ 

leing afraid of her. 

HI. My Isabella ! poor unhappy wretch ! 
What can I sav to her? 

i take 


ha. Nothing, nothing; Vis a babbling world 

I'll hear no more on't. When does the court sit? 

" I'll not he bought What! to sell innocent blood!" 

You look like one of the pale judges here; 

Mir.os, or Rhadamanth, or .ZEacus 

1 have heard of you. 

I have a cause to try, an honest one ; 

Will you not hear ft? Then I must appeal 

To the bright throne Call down the heav'nly powejs 

To witness how you use me. 

" Worn. Help, help, we cannot hold her. 

*'' ViL You but enrage her more." 

C. Bald. Pray, give her way ; she'll hurt nobody. 

Isa. What have you done with him? He was here 

but now ; 

I saw him here. Oh, Biron, Biron ! where, 
Where have they hid thee from me ? He is gone 

But here's a little flaming cherubim 

Child. Oh, save me, save me ! [Running fo Bald. 
ha. The Mercury of Heav'n, with silver wings, 
Impt for the flight, to overtake his ghost, 
And bring him back again. 
Child. I fear she'll kill me. 

C. Bald. She will not hurt thee. [Skejiings away. 
Isa. Will nothing do? I did not hope to find 
Justice on earth ; 'tis not in Heav'n neither. 

Biron has watch'd his opportunity 

Softly ; he steals it from the sleeping gods, 

And 'sends it thus [Stabs herself. 

Now, now 1 laugh at you, defy you all, 
You tyrant murderers. 

ViL Call, call for help Oh, Heav'n this was 

too much. 

C. Bald. Oh, thou most injur'd innocence ! Yetlive, 
Live but to witness for me to the world, 
How much I do repent me of the wrongs, 
Th* unnatural wrongs which 1 have heap'd on thee, 
And have pull'd down this judgment an us all. 
ViL Oh, speak, speak but a word of comfort to her .' 
C. Bald. If the most tender tether's care and love 


Of ihee and thy poor child, can make amends 
Oh, yet look up and live! 

ha. Where is that little wretch ? [They raise her. 
I die in peace to leave him to your care. 
I have a wretched mother's legacy, 

A dying kiss pray let me give it him, 

My blessing; that, that's all I have to leave thee. 
Oh, may thy father's virtues live in thee, 
And all his wrongs be buried in my grave ! [Dies. 
PH. She's gone, and all my joys oflife with her. 
Where are your officers of justice now? 
Seize, bind me, drag me to the bloody bar. 
Accuse, condemn me ; let the sentence reach 

JVIy hated life No matter how it comes ; 

I'll think it just, and thank you as it falls. 
Self-murder is deny'd me; else how soon 
Could 1 be past the pain of my remembrance ! 
But I must live, grow grey with ling'ring grief, 
To die at last in telling this sad tale." 
C. Bald. Poor wretched orphan of most wretchej 


" 'Scaping the storm, thou'rt thrown upon a rock, 
" To perish there." The very rocks would melt, 
Soften their nature, sure, to foster thee j 
I find it by myself: my flinty heart, 
That barren rock, on which thy father starved, 
Opens its springs of nourishment to thee. 
There's not a vein but shall run milk for thee. 
Oh, had I pardon'd my poorBiron's fault, 
His first, his only fault this had not ueen ! 
To erring youth there's some compassion due; 
But while with rigour you their crimes pursue, 
What's their misfortune is a crime for you. 
Hence, learn offending children to forgive : 
Leave punishment to Heav'n 'tis Heav'n's prero- 


Pr'ntcd h" R. M'Donuld, 
l3,Gtccn Aibour Court, 






As performed at the Theatres-Royal, 


3cUgulaten from tT;e prompt I"o0fc0, 


And the 

The Lines dUtinguished by inverted Commas, are omittad 
in the Representation. 


Printed for C. COOKE, Paternoster-Row, 

by R.M'Uoiutld. Green Arbour Court. 4 
fold by all the Booklellet* in cbe 
United Kin|d9B>. 




IF tragic poetry be, as Mr. Dryden has observed, 
the most excellent and useful kind of writing, the 
more extensively useful the moral of any tragedy is, 
the more excellent that piece must be of its kind. 

1 hope I shall not be thought to insinuate, that 
this, to which 1 have presumed to prefix your name, 
is such : that depends on its fitness to answer the end 
of tragedy, the exciting the passions, in order to correct 
such of them as are criminal, either in their nature, 
or through their excess. Whether the following scenes 
do this in any degree, is, with the deference,.that be- 
comes one who would not be thought vain, submitted 
to your candour and impartial judgment. 

What I would infer is this : that tragedy is so far 
from losing its dignity by being accommodated to the 
circumstances of the generality of mankind, that it is 
more truly august in proportion to the extent of its 
influence, arid the numbers that are properly affected 
by it ; as it is more truly great to be the instrument 
of good to many who stand in need of our assistance, 
than to a very small part of that number. 

If princes, &c. were alone liable to misfortunes 
arising from vice or weakness in themselves or others, 
there would be good reason for confining the charac- 
ters in tragedy to those of superior rank : but since the 
contrary is evident, nothing can be more reasonable 
than to proportion the remedy to the disease. 

I am far from denying that tragedies founded on any 
instructive and extraordinary events in history, or well* 
invented fables, where the persons introduced are of 
the highest rank, are without their use. The strong 
contrast between a Tamerlane an 3 a Bajazet may have 
its weight with an unsteady people, and contribute to 
the fixing of them in the interest o*' a prince of the 
character of the former ; when, through their own 
levity, or the arts of designing men, they are reu- 


dered factious and uneasy, though they have the high- 
est reason to be satisfied." The sentiments and exam- 
pie of a Cato may inspire his spectators with a just 
sense of the value of liberty, when they see that honest 
patriot prefer death to an obligation from a tyrant, who 
would sacrifice the constitution of his country, and the 
liberties of mankind, to his ambition or revenge. I 
have attempted, indeed, to enlarge the province of the 
graver kind of poetry, and should be glarl to see it car- 
ried on by some abler hand. Plays founded on moral 
tales in private life may be of admirable use,bycarrying 
conviction to the mind with such irresistible force as to 
engage all the faculties and powers of the soul in the 
cause of virtue, by stifling vice in its first principles. 
They who imagine this to be too much to be attri- 
buted to tragedy, must be strangers to the energy of 
that noble species of poetry. Shakspeare, who has 
given such amazing proofs of his genius, in that as 
well as in comedy, in his Hamlet has the following 
lines : 

' Had he the motive and the cause for passion 
' That 1 have, he would drown the stage with tears, 
' And cleave the general ear with horrid speech: 
* Make mad the guilty, and appall the free, 
' Confound the ignorant, and amaze indeed 
' The very faculty of eyes and ears." 
And farther, in the same speech : 

" I've heard that guilty creatures at a play 
" Have, by the very cunning of the scene, 
" Been so struck to the soul, that presently 
*' They have proclaim'd their malefactions." 
Prodigious ! yet strictly just. But I shall not take up 
your valuable time with my remarks : only give me 
leave just to observe, that he seems so firmly per- 
suaded of the power of a well-written piece to produce 
the effect here ascribed to it, as to make Hamlet ven- 
ture his soul on the event, and rather trust that than 
a messenger from the other world, though it assumed, 
as he expresses it, his " noble father's form," and as- 


sored him, that it was his spirit. " I'll have," says 
Hamlet, "grounds more relative j" 

<* the play's the thing, 

" Wherein I'll catch the conscience of the king." 

Such plays are the best answers to them who deny 
the usefulness of the stage. 

Considering the novelty of this attempt, I thought 
it would be expected from me to say something in its 
excuse ; and I was unwilling to lose the opportunity 
of saying something of the use of tragedy in general, 
and what may be reasonably expected from the farther 
improvement of this excellent kind of poetry. 


I hope you will not think I have said too much of 
an art, a mean specimen of which I am ambitious to 
recommend to your favour and protection. A mind, 
conscious of superior worth, as much despises flattery, 
as it is above it. Had I an inclination to so con- 
temptible a vice, I should not have chosen Sir JOHNT 
EYLES for my patron. And the best written pane- 
gyric, though strictly true, must place you in a light 
much inferior to that in which you have long been 
fixed by the love and esteem of your fellow-citizens, 
whose choice of you for one of their representatives 
in parliament, has sufficiently declared their sense of 
your merit. Nor hath the knowledge of your worth 
been confined to the city : the proprietors in the 
South-Sea Company gave the greatest proof of their 
confidence in your capacity and probity, by choosing 
you Sub Governor of their Company, at a time when 
their affairs were in the utmost confusion, and their 
properties in the greatest danger. Neither is the court 
insensible of your importance. I shall not, therefore, 
attempt to delineate a character so well known, nor 
pretend to add any thing to a reptuation so well esta- 

I am, Sir, 
Your most obedient, humble servant, 

a 3 


GEORGE LILLO was by profession ajeweller. 
He was born in the neighbourhood of Moorgate, in 
London, on the 4th of Feb. 1693 ; in which neigh- 
bourhood he pursued his occupation for many years 
with the fairest and most unblemished character. He 
was bred up in the principles of the Protestant Dissen- 
ters. He was strongly attached to the Muses : yet he 
laid it down as a maxim, that the devotion paid to 
them ought always to tend to the promotion of virtue, 
morality, and religion. In pursuance of this object, 
Mr. Lillo was happy in the choice of his subjects, and 
shewed great power of affecting the heart, by working 
up the passions to such a height, as to render the dis- 
tresses of common and domestic life equally interest- 
ing to the audiences as that of kings and heroes. His 
George Bar nw ell, Fatal Curiosity, and Arden ofFe- 
versham, are all planned on common and well-known 
stories ; yet they have more frequently drawn tears 
from the audience, than the more pompous tragedies 
of Alexander the Great, All for Love, &c. particularly 
the first of them, which being founded on a well- 
known old ballad, many of the critics of that time, who 
\vent to the first representation of it, formed so contemp- 
tible an idea of the piece in their expectations, that 
they purchased the ballad, in order todraw comparisons 
between that and the play. But the merit of the play 
soon got the better of this contempt, and presented 
them with scenes written truly to the heart. 

Mr. Lillo has been happy in the choice of his sub- 
jects; his conduct in the management of them is no 
Jess meritorious, and his pathos very great. The 
greatest objection to his writings is, that sometimes 
he affects an elevation of style somewhat above the 
simplicity of his subject, ancf the supposed rank of his 
characters ; but the custom of tragedy will stand in 
some degree of excuse for this; and a still better argu- 
ment perhaps may be admitted in vindication, not 
only of our present author, but of other writers in the 


like predicament, which is, that Nature itself will jus- 
tify this conduct, since we find the most humble 
characters in real life, when under peculiar circum- 
stances of distress, or actuated by the influence of any 
violent passions, will at times be elevated to an 
aptness of expression and power of language, not 
only greatly superior to themselves, but even to the 
general language of conversation of persons of much 
higher rank in life, and of minds more perfectly cul- 

In the Prologue to Elmerick, which was not, 
acted until after the author's death, it is said 
that when he wrote that play he was depressed by 
want, and afflicted by disease; but in the former 
particular there appears to be evidently a mistake, 
as he died possessed of an estate of 60/. per annum, 
beside* other effects to a considerable value. The late 
editor of his works (Mr. Davies) in two volumes, 
12mo. 1775, relates the following story of his author, 
which, however, we cannot think adapted to convey 
any favourable impression of the person of whom it is 
told : " Towards the latter part of his life, Mr. Lillo, 
whether from judgment or humour, determined to 
put the sincerity of his friends, who professed a very 
nigh regard for him, to a trial. In order to carry on 
this design, he put in practice an odd kind of strata- 
gem : he asked one of his intimate acquaintance to 
lend him a considerable sum of money, and for this 
he declared he would give no bond, nor any other se- 
curity, except a note of hand j the person to whom 
he applied, not liking the terms, civilly refused him. 

" Soon after, Lillo met his nephew, Mr. Un- 
derwood, with whom he had been at variance for 
some time. He put the same question to him, desiring 
him to lend him money upon the same terms. His 
nephew, either from a sagacious apprehension of his 
uncle's real intention, or from generosity of spirit, 
immediately offered to comply with his request. Lillo 
was so well pleased with tins ready compliance of Mr. 
Underwood, that he immediately declared thai he was 


fully satisfied with the love and regard that his nephew 
bore him ; he was convinced that his friendship was 
entirely disinterested, and assured him that he should 
reap the benefit such generous behaviour deserved. 
In consequence of this promise, he bequeathed him 
the bulk of his fortune." 

The same writer says, that Lillo in his person was 
lusty, but not tall, and of a pleasing aspect, though 
unhappily deprived of the sight of one eye. 

Our author died Sept. 3, 173Q, in the 47th year of 
his age; and a few months after his death, Henry 
Fielding printed the following character of him in 
The Champion: " He had a perfect knowledge of hu- 
man nature, though his contempt of all base means 
of application, which are the necessary steps to great 
acquaintance, restrained his conversation within very 
narrow bounds. He had the spirit of an old Roman, 
joined to the innocence of a primitive Christian; he 
was content with his little state of life, in which his 
excellent temper of mind gave him an happiness be- 
yond the power of riches. In short, he was one of 
the best of men, and those who knew him best will 
most regret his loss." 

His dramatic pieces are as follow : 

1. Sylvia; or, The Country Burial. An Opera. 8vo. 

2. The London Merchant; or, The History of George 
Barnwell. A Tragedy. Svo. 1731. 

3. The Christian Hero. A Tragedy. Svo. [1734.] 

4. The Fatal Curiosity. A Tragedy." Svo. 1737- 

5. Marina. A Play. 8vo. 1738. 

6. Britannia and Bataria. A Masque. Svo. 1740. 
7- Elmerick; or, Justice Triumphant. A Tragedy. 

Svo. 1740. 

8. Ar den of Fever sham. A Farce. 12mo. 17^2. 

9. The Regulators. 





I ADDRESS myself to the review of this simple 
and affecting drama, with a degree of gratification that 
has not always attended my labours in the progress of 
this onerous and miscellaneous undertaking. 

I esteem George Lillo's character very highly for 
his good meaning, and I have a due respect for his 
talents, of which I conceive the best specimens are 
to be found in his Fatal Curiosity ; for his prose is, 
in my opinion, very heavy and inharmonious. The 
ambition which has prompted some of our dramatic 
writers to strike out of the common road of compo- 
sition into new paths and new experiments, has very 
generally led them to take leave of Nature, and dash 
into the inane of fancy and romance. Groups of ima- 
ginary beings, numberless feats exceeding human 
powers, and incidents that rnock all human possibi- 
lity, have been hatched in the heated pericraniums of 
our dramatists and novelists, who either falsely con- 
ceived that Nature was exhausted, (when, in fact, the 
only void was in themselves;) or, calculating upon 
success, imagined it was easier to obtain it by sur- 
prising fictions than by pleasing probabilities. To 
them it most likely appeared the readier avenue ; and 
it must be owned there is temptation enough to pur- 
sue it, when we contemplate the lamentable frivolity 
of the prevailing taste. If what is called the public 
have no better skill in the commodity they purchase, 
than the simple savage who takes brass buttons and 


old iron in barter for the necessaries of life, who will 
say the traffic is not favourable to the adventurer ? 
There will be no dearth of dealers whilst there is such 
an abundant overflow of dupes, to lake their despi- 
cable manufactures oft' their hands. 

The very opposite to this was the ambition that 
influenced this moral author, when he essayed, to 
make Tragedy dismount from her stilts, and walk the 
streets of London unbuskined into compting-houses, 
visit the cells of Newgate, keep company with com- 
mon prostitutes, and condescend to be hanged at 
Tyburn, for the edification of the idle apprentices. 
Surely there was as much ambition in the breast of 
this author, as in that of any monster-monger of the 
modern time; only this was ambition of a laudable 
sort, and that was the ambition of a mountebank 
who pretends to draw your teeth with the point of 
his sword. 

Lillo boldly and openly presents us with a murder, 
and atones to justice by hanging his hero for com- 
mitting it; our present dramatic terrorists sneakingly 
give us a murder at second hand, and scare all our 
children and their nurses with ghosts and hobgoblins, 
for which they themselves ought to be hanged. He 
aims to establish an honest reputation by the tear 
which he elicits, and the moral he instils ; they en- 
deavour first to frighten us out of our senses, and 
then run away with our applause in the moments of 
our fatuity. Much good may it do them ! Let me 
rather go into the prison with Lillo, than into the 
playhouse with them. When will this nation wake 
to reason, and get rid of these phantasmas ? 


I am not informed how this play was received by 
its first audiences ; for I only concern myself with 
the work itself, and do not extend my enquiries about 
the maker of it : 1 think it must have been a hardy 
attempt ; for it was trusting to the good sense of his 
spectators. We act it about once in a season, with 
much the same relish as we eat salt-fish upon Good 
Friday j and who can be a greater object of pity than 
the poor unhappy Millwood of the night? I can 
hardly suppose there is a writer now living, who has 
fortitude enough to attempt such a play, or interest 
to get it acted if he had written it. Jonas Hanway 
had moral zeal enough for the undertaking, but his 
genius did not carry him quite so high up as to the 
apprentices ; he got no further in the stages of the 
community than to the chimney-sweepers: and he, 
good man, is no more. He warned us against drink- 
ing tea, and shooting London-bridge; but he did not 
live to dissuade us from shooting our uncles, and 
drinking wine with bad women. He had a great 
turn for poetry ; for he furnished his drawing-room 
superbly with festoons of gilded carved work, in- 
scribed with verses : but, alas! they were verses of 
other people's making ; and my friend had only the 
gift of benevolent ingredients, but not the art of mak- 
ing them palatable by the ingenuity of the vehicle. 
A George Barnwell of his writing would never have 
lived to be hanged. 

Congreve, andFarquhar, and Southern, and a host 
of ingenious anti-moralists, have contrived a quantum 
sufficit of villainy, but they never spare any of it to 
apprentices ; they bestow it all upon fine gentlemen 


and fine ladies; and the only punishment they ever 
receive from their authors is, when they marry them 
to each other at the end of the play. They never in- 
terrupt their enjoyment by the mention of the gallows 
amongst the personages of the drama ; though they 
take due pains to send as many of their hearers there, 
as blasphemy, lasciviousness, brutality, and adultery, 
daringly exhibited, can corrupt. 

There 1 may be faults in this play of George 
Barnwell (for no play can be without them), but 
I will not point them out, nor be the critic of an 
author, who loved mankind so much better than he 
lored praise, that he let kings and queens pass off 
unincensed by his Muse, whilst he dealt instruc- 
tion to apprentices and prostitutes from the con- 
demned hole of a prison, and erected his gibbet on 
the pinnacle of Parnassus, as a finger-post to Melpo- 
mene, to point out the road she has since too often 
taken, and a warning to Apollo of the fate which too 
many of his votaries have deserved. 

I wish I could, consistently with my duty, dismiss 
all my succeeding authors, with a review as amicable 
towards them, and as agreeable to myself, as this, 
which I now conclude. 


THE Tragic Muse, sublime, delights, to shew, 

Princes distressed, and scenes of royal woe ; 

In awful pomp , majestic, to relate 

The fall of nations, or some hero's fate ; 

That scepter'd chiefs may, ly example, know 

The strange vicissitudes of things below ; 

What dangers on security attend; 

How pride and cruelty in ruin end : 

Hence Providence supreme to know, and own 

Humanity adds glory to a throne. 

In every former age, andforeign tongue, 

With native grandeur thus the goddess sung. 

Upon our stage, indeed, with wish'd success, 

You've sometimes seen her in an humbler dress ; 

Great only in distress, when she complains 

In Southern s, Rowe's, or Ocway j moving strains t 

The brilliant drops that fall from each bright eye, 

The absent pomp with brighter gems supply. 

Forgive us, then, if we attempt to shew, 

In artless strains, a tale of private woe. 

A London 'prentice ruirid is our theme, 

Drawn from ihefam'd old song that bears his name. 

We hope your taste is not so high to scorn 

A moral tale esteemed ere you were born ; 

Which, for a century of rolling years, 

Has Jill 'd a thousand thousand eyes with tears. 

Jf thoughtless youth to warn, and shame the age 

From vice destructive, well becomes the stage ; 

If this example innocence insure, 

Prevent our guilt, or by reflection cure, 

If Millwood's dreadful crimes, and sad despair, 

Commend the virtue of the good and fair; 

Tho art be wanting, and our numbers fail, 

Indulge tJi attempt, injustice to the tale. 




BARNWELL, Uncle to George. 


Officers with their Attendants, and Footmen, 
Scene, LONDON, and an adjacent Village. 



A Room in THOROWGOOD'S House. Enter 

Trueman. SIR, the packet from Genoa is arrived. 

[Gives letters. 

Thor. Heaven be prais'cl ! The storm that threat- 
ened our royal mistress, pure religion, liberty, and 
laws, is for a time diverted. The haughty and re- 
vengeful Spaniard, disappointed of the loan on which 
he depended from Genoa, must now attend the slow 
returns of wealth from his new world, to supply his 
empty coffers, ere he can execute his proposed inva- 
sion of our happy island. By this means, time is 
gained to make such preparations on our part, as may, 
Heaven concurring, prevent his malice, or turn the 
meditated mischief on himself. 

True. He must be insensible indeed, who is not af- 
fected when the safety of his country is concerned. 
Sir, may I know by what means? If I am not 
too bold , 

Thor. Your curiosity is laudable; and I gratify it 
with the greater pleasure, because from thence you 
may learn, how honest merchants, as such, may some- 
times contribute to the safety of their country, as they 
do at all times to its happiness; that if hereafter you 
should be tempted to any action that has the appear- 
ance of vice or meanness in it, upon reflecting on the 
dignity of our profession, you may, with honest scorn, 
reject whatever is unworthy of it. 

True. Should Barn well, or I, who have the benefit 
of your example, by, our ill conduct bring any impu- 
tation on that honourable name, we must be left with- 
out excuse. 

Thor. You compliment, young man. [Trueman 
lows respectfully. .] Nay, I am not offended. As the 
name of merchant never degrades the gentleman, so 
bvno means does it exclude him j only take heed not 


to purchase the character of complaisant at the ex- 
pence of your sincerity. But to answer your ques- 
tion : The bank of Genoa had agreed, at an excessive 
interest, and on good security, to advance the King 
of Spain a sum of money sufficient to equip his vast. 
Armada; of which our peerless Elizabeth (more than, 
in name the mother of her people) being well in-- 
formed, sent Walsingham, her wise and faithful se- 
cretary, to consult the merchants of this loyal city;; 
who all agreed to direct their several agents to influ- 
ence, if possible, the Genoese to break their contract 
with the Spanish court. 'Tis done: the state and 
bank of Genoa having maturely weighed, and rightly 
judged of their true interest, prefer the friendship of 
the merchants of London to that of the monarch, who 
proudly stiles himself king of both Indies. 

True. Happy success of prudent counsels ! What an 
expence of blood and treasure is here saved! *' Ex~ 
" cellent queen! O how unlike those princes, who 
" make the danger of foreign enemies a pretence to 
" oppress their subjects by taxes great, and grievous 
" to be borne! 

** Thor. Not so our gracious queen; whose richest 
" exchequer is her people's love, as their happiness 
<( her greatest glory. 

" True. On these terms to defend us, is to make 
" our protection a benefit worthy her who confers 
" it, and well worth our acceptance." Sir, have 
you any commands for me at this time? 

Thor. Only look carefully over the files, to see whe- 
ther there are any tradesmen's bills unpaid; if there 
are, send and discharge 'em. We must not let arti- 
ficers lose their time, so useful to the public and their 
families, in unnecessary attendance. [Exit True man. 

Enter MARIA. 

Well, Maria, have you given orders for the entertain- 
ment? I would have it in some measure worthy the 
quests. Let there be plenty, and of the best, that the 
courtiers may at least commend our hospitality. 


Mar. Sir, I have endeavoured not to wrong your 
well-known geneiosity by an ill-timed parsimony. 

Thor. Nay, 'twas a needless caution: I have no 
cause to doubt your prudence. 

Mar. Sir, I find myself unfit for conversation; I 
should but increase the number of the company, 
without adding to their satisfaction. 

Thor. Nay, my child, this melancholy must not be 

Mar. Company will but increase it: I wish you 
would dispense with my absence. Solitude best suits 
my present temper, 

Thor. You are not insensible, that it is chiefly on your 
account these noble lords do me the honour so fre- 
quently to grace my board. Should you be absent, 
the disappointment may make them repent of their 
condescension, and think their labour lost. 

Mar. He, that shall think his time or honour lost in 
visiting you, can set no real value on your daughter's 
company, whose only merit is, that she is yours. The 
man of quality who chooses to converse with a gen- 
tleman and merchant of your worth and character, 
may confer honour by so doing, but he loses none. 

Thor. Come, come, Maria, 1 need not tell you, that 
a young gentleman may prefer your conversation to 
mine, and yet intend me no disrespect at all; for 
though he may lose no honour in my company, 'tis 
very natural for him to expect more pleasure in yours. 
1 remember the time when the company of the great- 
est and wisest men in the kingdom would have been 
insipid and tiresome to me, if it had deprived me of 
an opportunity of enjoying your mother's. 

.Mar. Yours, no doubt, was as agreeable to her ; 
i'or generous minds know no pleasure in society but 

T/tor. Thou knoxvest I have no heir, no child, but 
thee; the fruits of many years successful industry must 
all be thine. Now it would give me pleasure, great as 
my love, to see on whom you will bestow it. I am 
daily solicited by men of the greatest rank and merit 

B j 


for leave to address you: but 1 have hitherto declined 
it, in hopes that, by observation, I should learn which 
way your inclination tends; for, as I know love to be 
essential to happiness in the married state, I had 
rather my approbation should confirm your choice 
than direct it. 

Mar. What can 1 say? How shall I answer, as I 
ought, this tenderness, so uncommon even in the best 
of parents? But you are without example: yet, had 
you been less indulgent, I had been most wretched. 
That 1 look on the crowd of courtiers that visit here, 
with equal esteem, but equal indifference, you have 
observed, and I must needs confess; yet, had you as- 
serted your authority, and insisted on a parent's right 
to be obey'd, 1 had submitted, and to my duty sacri- 
ficed my peace. 

Thor. From your perfect obedience in every other 
instance, 1 feared as much; and therefore would leave 
you without a bias in an.affair wherein your happiness 
is so immediately concerned. 

Mar. Whether from a want of that just ambition 
that would become your daughter, or from some 
other cause, I know not; but I find high birth and 
titles don't recommend the man who owns them, to 
my affections. 

Thor. I would not that they should, unless his me- 
rit recommends him more. A noble birth and for- 
tune, though they make not a bad man good, yet they 
are a real advantage to a worthy one, and place his 
virtues in the fairest light. 

Mar. I cannot answer for my inclinations ; bnt they 
shall ever be submitted to your wisdom and autho- 
rity. And as you will not compel me to marry where 
I cannot love, love shall never make me act contrary 
to my duty. Sir, have I your permission to retire? 

Tlior. I'll see you to your chamber. [Exeunt. 


A Room in MILLWOOD'S House. Enter MILLWOOD 
and LUCY. 

Mill How do I look to-dav, Lucv? 


Lucy. Oh, killingly, madam ! A little more red, and 
you'll be irresistible. Bui why this more than ordi- 
nary care of your dress and complexion? What new 
conquest are you aiming at? 

Mill. A conquest would be new indeed. 

Lucy. Not to you, who make 'em every day but 
to me Well, 'tis what I'm never to expect un- 
fortunate as I am But your wit and beauty 

Mill. First made me a wretch, and still continue me 
so. Men, however generous or sincere to one another, 
are all selfish hypocrites in their affairs with us; we 
are no otherwise esteemed or regarded by them, but as 
we contribute to their satisfaction. 

Lucy. You are certainly, madam, on the wrong 
side in this argument. Is "not the expence all theirs? 
And I am sure it is our own fault if we have not our 
share of the pleasure. 

Mill. We are but slaves to men. 

Lucy. Nay, 'tis they that are slaves most certainly, 
for we lay them under contribution. 

Mill. Slaves have no property ; no, not even in 
themselves: all is the victor's. 

Lucy. You are strangely arbitrary in your princi- 
ples, madam. 

Mill. I would have my conquest complete, like 
those of the Spaniards in the New World; who first 
plundered the natives of all the wealth they had, and 
then condemned the wretches to the mines 'for life, to 
work for more. 

Lucy. Well, I shall never approve of your scheme 
of government: I should think it much more politic, 
as well as just, to find my subjects an easier employ- 

Mill. It is a general maxim among the knowing 
part of mankind, that a woman without virtue, like a 
man without honour or honesty, is capable of any 
action, though never so vi!e: and yet what pains will 
they not take, what arts not use, to seduce us from our 
innocence, and make us contemptible and wicked, 
even 114 their own opinion ? Then is it not just, the 



villains, to their cost, should find us so? But guilt 
makes them suspicious, and keeps them on their guard ; 
therefore we can take advantage only of the young 
and innocent part of the sex, who having never in- 
jured women, apprehend no injury from them. 

Lucy. Ay, they must be young indeed. 

Mill. Such a one, 1 think, I have found. As I 
have passed through the city, 1 have often observed 
him receiving and paying considerable sums of mo- 
ney; from thence I conclude he is employed in af- 
fairs of consequence. 

Lucy. Is he handsome? 

Mill. Ay, ay, the stripling is well made, and has 
good face. 

Lucy. About 

Mill. Eighteen. 

Lucy. Innocent, handsome, and about eighteen ! 
You'll be vastly happy. Why, if you manage well, 
you may keep him to yourself these two or three years. 

Mill. If I manage well, I shall have done with him 
much sooner. Having long had a design on him, and 
meeting him yesterday, I made a full stop, and gazing 
wishfully in his face, ask'd his name. He blush'd and 
bowing very low, answer'd, George Barnvvell. I 
begged his pardon for the freedom 1 nad taken, and 
told hirn, that he was the person I had long wished to 
see, and to whom I had an aflair of importance to 
communicate at a proper time and place. He named 
a tavern ; I talked of honour and reputation, and in- 
vited him to my house. He swallowed the bait, pro- 
inUed to come, and this is the time I expect him. 

[Knocking at the door.'] Somebody knocks D'ye 

hear; 1 am at home to nobody to-day but him. [Exit 
Lucy.] Less aft'airs must give way to those of more 
consequence; and 1 am strangely mistaken if this 
does nut prove of great importance to me, and him 
too, before I have done with him. Now, after what 

manner bhail I receive him? Let me consider 

What manner of person am I to receive? He is 
young, innocent, and bashful 5 therefore 1 must take 


care not to put him out of countenance at first. " But 
" then, if J have any skill in physiognomy, he is 
" amorous j and, with a little assistance, will soon 
" get the better of his modesty." I'll e'en trust to 
nature, who does wonders in these matters. " If to 
" seem what one is not, in order to be the better 
** liked for what one ically is; if to speak one thing, 
" and mean the direct contrary, be art in a woman 
" I know nothing of nature." 
Enter BARNWELL, lowing very low. LUCY at a 

Mill. Sir, the surprise and joy 

Barn. Madam! 

Mill. This IP such a favour \ Advancing. 

Barn. Pardon me, Madam. 

Mill. So unhop'd for! [Still advances. 

[Barn well salutes her, and retires in confusion 
To see you here Excuse the confusion- 

Barn. I fear 1 am too bold 

Mill. Alas, sir, 1 may justly apprehend you think 
me so. Please, sir, to sit. I am as much at a loss 
how to receive this honour as I ought, as I am sur- 
prised at yoar goodness in conferring it. 

Burn. 1 thought you had expected me: I promised 
to come. 

Mill. That is the more surprising; few men are 
such religious observers of their word. 

Barn. All who are honest are. 

Mill. To one another; but we simple women are 
seldom thought of consequence enough to gain a place 
in their remembrance. 

[Laying her hand on his, as ly accident. 

Barn. Her disorder is so great, she don't perceive 
she has laid her hand on mine. Heav'ns! How she 
trembles! What can this mean ? [Aside. 

Mill. The interest I have in all that relates to you, 
(the reason of which you shall know hereafter) ex- 
cites my curiosity ; and were 1 sure you would pardon 
my presumption, J should desire to know your real 
sentiments on a very particular subject. 


Barn. Madam, you may command my poor thoughts 
on any subject, I have none that I would conceal. 

Mill. You'll think me bold. 

Barn. No, indeed. 

Mill. What then are your thoughts of love? 

Barn. If you mean the love of women, I have not 
thought of it. My youth and circumstances make 
such thoughts improper. But if you mean the ge- 
neral love we owe mankind, I think no one has more 
of it than myself. 1 don't know a person in the 
world, whose happiness I don't wish, and would not 
promote, were it in my power. In an especial manner 
I love my uncle, and my master ; but above all, my 

Mill. You have a friend, then, whom you love? 

Barn. As he does me, sincerely. 

Mill. He is, no doubt, often bless'd with your 
company and conversation ? 

Barn. We live in one house, and both serve the 
same worthy merchant. 

Mill. Happy, happy youth ! Whoe'er thou art, I 
envy thee, " and so must all, whoseeand know this 
<( youth." What have I lost, by being -form'd a wo- 
man ! I hate my sex. Had I been a man, I might, 
perhaps, have been as happy in your friendship, as he 
who now enjoys it is : but as it is : Oh! 

Barn. I never observed woman before ; or this is, 
sure, the most beautiful of her' sex. [Aside.] You 
seem disordered, madam May I know the cause? 

Mill., Do not ask me- -I can never speak it, 
whatever is the cause. I wish for things impossible. 
I would be a servant, bound to the same master, to 
live in one house with you. 

Barn. How strange, and yet how kind, her words 
and actions are! And the effect they have on me is as 
strange. I feel desires I never knew before. I must 
be gone, while I have power to go. [_Aside.~\ Madam, 
I humbly take my leave. 

Mill. You will not, sure, leave me so 'soon! 

Barn. Indeed I must. 


Mill. You cannot be so cruel ! 1 have prepared a 
poor supper, at which 1 promised myself your com- 

Barn. I am sorry I must refuse the honour you 
designed me; but "my duty to my master calls me 
hence. 1 never yet neglected his service- He is so 
gentle, and so good a master, that should I wrong 
him, though he might forgive me, I should never 
forgive myself. 

Mill. Am I refused, by the first man, the se- 
cond favour I ever stooped to ask? Go then, thou 
proud hard-hearted youth ; but know, you are the 
only man that could be found, who would let me 
sue twice for greater favours. 

Barn. What shall I do?, How shall I go, or stay? 

Mill. Yet do not, do not leave me. I with my 
sex's pride would meet your scorn ; but when I look 
upon you, when I behold these eyes Oh ! spare my 
tongue, and let my blushes this flood of tears too, 
that will force its way, declare what woman's mo- 
desty should hide. 

Barn. Oh, Heavens! the loves me, worthless as I 
am. Her looks, her words, her flowing tear^ confess 
it. And can I leave her then? Oh, never, never! 
Madam, dry up your tears : you shall command me; 
I will stay nere for ever, if you would have me. 

Lucy. So: she has wheedled him out of his virtue 
of obedience already, and will strip him of all the 
rest, one after another, till she has left him as few as 
her ladyship, or myself. 

Mill. Now you are kind, indeed: but I mean not 
to detain you always : I would have you shake off all 
slavish obedience to your master; but you may serve 
him still. 

Lucy. Serve him still ! Ay, or he'll have no oppor- 
tunity of fingering his cash ; and then he'll not serve 
your end, I'll be sworn. [Aside. 

Enter BLUNT. 

Blunt. Madam, supper's on the taole. 

Mill. Come, sir, you'll excuse all defects. My 


thoughts were too much employed on my guest to 
observe the entertainment. 

[Exeunt Barnwell and Mill wood. 

Blunt. What! is all this preparation, this elegant 
supper, variety of wines, and music, for the enter- 
tainment of that young fellow ? 

Lucy. So it seems. 

Blunt. How! is our mistress turned fool at last? 
She's in love with him, 1 suppose. 

Lucy. I suppose not. But she designs to make 
him in love with her, if she can. 

Blunt. What will she get by that ? He seems under 
age, and can't be supposed to have much money. 

Lucy. But his master has, and that's the same 
thin^, as she'll manage it. 

Blunt. I don't like this fooling with a handsome 
young fellow : while she's endeavouring to ensnare 
him, "she may be caught herself. 

Lucy. Nay, were she like me, that would certainly 
be the consequence; for, I confess, there is something 
in vouth and innocence that moves me mightily. 

Blunt. Yes ; so does the smoothness and plumpness 
of a partridge move a mighty desire in the hawk to be 
the destruction of it. 

Lucy. Why, birds are their prey, and men are 
ours; though, as you observed, we are sometimes 
caught ourselves. But that, I dare say, will never be 
the case of our mistress. 

Blunt. I wish it may prove so; for you know we 
all depend upon her. Should she trifle awav her time 
with a young fellow that there's nothing to be got by, 
we must all starve. 

Lucy. There's no danger of that; for I am sure 
she has no view in this affair but interest. 

Blunt. Well, and what hopes are there of success 
in that? 

Lucy. The most promising that can be. 'Tis true 
the youth has his scruples ; but she'll soon teach him 
to answer them, by stifling his conscience. Oh, the 
lad is in a hopeful way, depend upon't. |" Exeunt. 



Draws, and discovers BARNWELL anf/MiLLWOOD at 
Supper. An Entertainment of Music and Singing. 
After which they come forward. 
Barn. WHAT can I answer? All that I know is, 
you are fair, and I am miserable. 

Mill. We are both so, and yet the fault is in our- 

Barn. To ease our present anguish by plunging 
into guilt, is to buy a moment's pleasure with an age 
of pain. 

Mill. I should have thought the joys of love as 
lasting as they are great : if ours prove otherwise, 
'tis your inconstancy must make them so. 

Barn. The law of Heaven will not be reversed, and 
that requires ns to govern our passions. 

Mill. To give us sense of beauty and desires, and 
yet forbid us to taste and be happy, is a cruelty to na- 
ture. Have we passions only to torment us? 

Barn. To hear you talk, though in the cause of 
vice; to gaze upon your beauty, press your hand, 
" and see your snow-white bosom heave and fall," 
inflames my wishes; my pulse, beats high, ** my 
'* senses all are in a hurry," and 1 am on the rack of 

wild desire. Yet, for a moment's guilty pleasure 

shall I lose my innocence, my peace of mind, and 
hopes of solid happiness? 
Mill. Chimeras all! 

Barn. I would not yet must on 

Reluctant thus the merchant quits his ease, 
And 'rusts to rocks and sands, and stormy seas; 
In hopes some unknown golden coast to find, 
Commits himself though doubtful to the wind, 
Longs much for joys to come yet mourns those 

" left behind." 
Mill. Along with me, and prove 

No joys like woman-kind, no heaven like love. 




Barnwell. How strange are all things round me ' 
Like some thief who treads forbidden ground, and 
fain would lurk unseen, fearful I enter each apart- 
ment of this well-known house. To guilty love, as 
if that were too little, already have I added breach of 
trust A thief! Can I know myself that wretched 
thing, and look my honest friend and injured master 
in the face? Though hypocrisy may a while conceal 
my guilt, at length it will be kno'wn, and public shame 
and ruin must ensue. In the mean time, what must 
be my life? Ever to speak a language foreign to my 
heart; hourly to add to the number of my crimes, in 
order to conceal 'em. Sure such was the condition 
of the grand apostate, when first he lost his purity. 
Like me disconsolate, he wandered , and while yet 
in Heaven, bore all his future hell about him. 


True. Barn well, Oh, how 1 rejoice to see you safe! 
So will our master and his gentle daughter; who, 
during your absence, often inquired after you. 

Barn. Would he were gone ! His officious love will 
pry into the secrets of my soul. [Aside. 

True. Unless you knew the pain the whole family 
has felt on your account, you cann't conceive how 
much you are beloved. But why thus cold and si- 
lent ? When my heart is full of joy for your return, 
why do you turn away? why thus avoid me? What 
have I done ? How am I altered since you saw me 
last ? Or rather, what have you done ? and why are 
you thus changed ? for I am still the same? 

Barn. What have I done, indeed ! [Aside. 

True. Not speak! nor look upon me! 

Barn. By my face he will discover all I would con- 
ceal ; methinks already I begin to hate him. [Aside. 

True. 1 cannot bear this usage from a friend ; one 
\vhom till now I ever found so loving ; whom yet I 


love; though this unkindness strikes at the root of 
friendship, and might destroy it in any breast but 

Barn. I am not well. [Turning to him.'] Sleep has 
been a stranger to these eyes since you beheld them 

True. Heavy they look indeed, and swoln with 
tears; now they overflow. Rightly did my sym- 
pathising heart forebode last night, when thou wast 
absent, something fatal to our peace. 

Barn. Your friendship engages you too far. My 
troubles, whate'er they are, are mine alone: you 
have no interest in them, nor ought your concern for 
me to give you a moment's pain. 

True. You speak as if you knew of friendship no- 
thing but the name. Before i saw your grief, I felt 
it. " Since we parted last I have slept no more than 
" you, but pensive in my chamber sat alone, and 
'* spent the tedious night in wishes for your safety 
" and return :" e'en now, thought ignorant of the 
cause, your sorrow wounds me to the heart. 

Barn. 'Twill not be always thus. Friendship and 
all engagements cease, as circumstances and occasions 
vary ; and since you may hate me,' perhaps it might 
be better for lib both that now you loved me less. 

True. Sure I but dream ! Without a case would 
Barnwell use me thus? Ungenerous and ungrateful 
youth, farewell; I shall endeavour to follow your 
advice. \_GoingJ\ Yet stay, perhaps, I am too rash, 
and angry when the causedemands compassion. Some 
unforeseen calamity may have befallen him too great 
to bear. 

Barn. What part am I reduced to act? 'Tis vile 
and base to move his temper thus, the best of friends 
and men. 

True. I am to blame; pr'ythee, forgive me, Barn- 
well. Try to couipo.v: your ruffled mind ; and Jet 
me know the cause that thus transports you from 
yourself; mv friendly counsel may restore your 

c 2 


Barn. All that is possible for man to do for man, 
your generous friendship may eftect; but here even 
that's in vain. 

True, Something dreadful is labouring in your 
breast; oh, give it vent, and let me share your grief; 
'twill ease your pain, should it admit no cure, and 
make it lighter by the part I bear. 

Barn. Vain supposition ! my woes increase by being 
observed; should the cause be known, they would 
exceed all bounds. 

True. So well I know thy honest heart, guilt can- 
not harbour there. 

Barn. Oh, torture insupportable ! [Aside. 

True. Then why am I excluded ? Have I a thought 
I would conceal from you ? 

Barn. If still you urge me on this hated subject, 
I'll never enter more beneath this roof, nor see your 
face again. 

True. "Tis strange but I have done, say but you 

hate me not. 

Barn. Hate you! I am not that monster yet. 

True. Shall our friendship still continue ? 

Barn. It's a blessing 1 never was worthy of, yet 
now must stand on terms ; and but upon conditions 
can confirm it. 

True. What are they? 

Barn. Never hereafter, though you should wonder 
at my conduct, desire to know more than I am wil- 
ling to reveal. 

True, Tis hard; but upon any conditions I must 
be your friend. 

Barn. Then as much as one lost to himself can be 
another's, 1 am yours. [Embracing. 

True. Be ever so, and may Heaven restore your 
peace ! 

" Barn. Will yesterday return ? We have heard 
" the glorious sun, that till then incessant roll'd, 
" once stopp'd his rapid course, and once went back. 
*' The dead have risen, and parched rocks pour'd 
" forth a liquid stream to quench a people's thirst. 


^' The sea divided, and form'd walls of water, 'while 
" a whole nation pass'd in safety through its sandy 
" bosom. Hungry lions have refus'd their prev ; and 
" men unhurt have walk'd amidst consuming flames; 
" but never yet did time, once past return." 

" True. Though the continued chain of time has 
" never once been broke, nor ever will, but unin- 
<e terrupted must keep on its course, till lost in eter- 
" nity, it ends where it first began ; yet v as Heaven 
" can repair whatever evils time can bring upon us, 
" we ought never to despair." But business requires 
our attendance; business, the youth's best preserva- 
tive from ill, as idleness his worst of snares. Will 
you go with me ? 

Barn. I'll take a little time to reflect on what has 
past, and follow you. [Exit Trueman.] I might have 
trusted Trueman, and engaged him to apply to my 
uncle to repair the wrong 1 have done my master; 
but what ot Millwood? ' Must I expose her too? 
Ungenerous and base ! Then Heaven requires it 
not. But Heaven requires that 1 forsake her. 
What! never to see her more? Does Heaven require, 
that! I hope 1 may see her, and Heaven not be of- 
fended. Presumptuous hope! Dearly already have 
I proved my frailty. Should I once more tempt 
Heaven, I may be left to fall never to rise again. 
Yet," shall 1 leave her, for ever leave her, and let 
her know the cause? She \\holoves me with such a 
boundless passion ! Can cruelty be duty? I judge of 
what she then must feel, by what I now endure. The 
love of life, and fear of shame, opposed bV inclination 
strong as death or shame, like. wind and tide in raging 
conflict meet, when neither can prevail, keep me in 
doubt. How then can I deteimine? 
Enter TiHu ROW GOOD. 

Thor. Without a cause assign'd, or notice given, to 
absent yourself last night was a fault, young man, 
and I came to chide you for it, but I !iope 1 am pre- 
vented. That modest blush, the confusion so visible 
in your face, speak grief and shame. When we have 
c 3 


offended Heaven, it requires no more ; and shall 
man, who needs himself to be forgiven, he harder 
to appease? If my pardon or love he of moment to 
your peace, look up secure of hoih. 

Barn. This goodness has o'ercome me. \_Aside.~\ 
Oh, sir, you know not the nature and extent of my 
offence; and I should abuse your mistaken bounty to 
receive it. Though I had rather die than speak my 
shame; though racks could not have forced the guilty 
secret from my breast your kindness has. 

T/ior. Enough, enough, whate'er it be; this con- 
cern shews you're convinced, and I am satisfied. 
How painful is the sense of guilt to an ingenuous 
mind? Some youthful folly, which it were prudent 
not to inquire into. " When we consider the frail 
condition of humanity, it may raise our pity, not 
our wonder, that youth should go astray; when 
reason, weak at the best, opposed to inclination, 
scarce formed, and wholly unassisted by experi- 
ence, faintly contends, or willingly becomes the 
slave of sense. The state of youth is much to be 
deplored, and the more so, because they see it not ; 
being then to danger most exposed, when they are 
least prepared for their defence." [Aside. 

Barn. It will be known, and you'll recall your 
pardon and abhor me. 

Thor. I never will. Yet be upon your guard in 
this gay thoughtless season of your life; * when the 
" sense of pleasures quick, and passions high, the 
*' voluptuous appetites, raging and fierce, demand 
" the strongest curb; take heed of a relapse:" when 
vice becomes habitual, the very power of leaving it is 

Barn. Hear me. on my knees, confess 

Thor. Not a syllable more upon this subject; it 
were not mercy, but cruelty, to hear what must give 
you such torment to re\eal. 

Barn. This generosity amazes and distracts me. 
Thor. This remcrse makes thee dearer to me than 
if thou hadst never offended. Whatever is your 


fault, of this I am certain, 'twas harder for you to 
offend, than me to pardon. [Exit Thorowgood. 

Barn. Villain, villain, villain ! basely to wrong so 
excellent a man. Should I again return to folly? 
Detested thought! But what of Millwood then? 
Why, 1 renounce her? I give her up The strug- 
gle's over, and virtue has prevailed. Reason may 
convince, but gratitude compels, This unlooked-for 
generosity has saved me from destruction. \Going. 
Enter a Footman. 

Foot. Sir, two ladies from your uncle in the coun- 
try desire to see you. 

Barn. Who should they be. [Aside.'] Tell them 
I'll wait upon 'em. 

Barn. Methinks 1 dread to see 'em Now 

every thing alarms me. Guilt, what a coward 

hast thou made me 1 


Another Room in THOROWGOOD'.? House. Enter 
MILLWOOD, LUCY, and a Footman. 

Foot. Ladies, he'll wait upon you immediately. 

Mill. Tis very well. 1 thank you. [Exit Foot. 

Enter. BARN WELL. 

Barn. Confusion ! Millwood ! 

Mill. That angry look tells me that here I am an 
unwelcome guest ; I feared as much ; the unhappy 
are so every where. 

Barn. Will nothing but my utter ruin content you ? 

Mill. Unkind and cruel ! Lost myself, your hap- 
piness is now my only care. 

Barn. How did you gain admission? 

Mill. Saying we were desired by your uncle to visit, 
and deliver a message to you, we were received by 
the family without suspicion, and with much respect 
conducted here. 

Barn. Why did you come at all? 

Mill, I -shall never trouble you more. I'm come to 
lake my leave for ever. Such is the malice of my 
fate: I go hopeless, despairing ever to return. Tins 
hour is all 1 have left: one short hour is all I hav 


to bestow on love and you, for whom I thought the 
longest life too short. 

Barn. Then we are met to part for ever? 

Mill. It must be so. Yet think not that time or 
absence shall ever put a period to my grief, or make 
ine love you less. Tho' I must leave you, yet con- 
demn me not. ' 

Barn. Condemn you ! No, I approve your resolu- 
tion, and rejoice to hear it; 'tis just 'tis neces- 
sary, 1 have well vveigh'd and found it so. 

,Lucy. I am afraid the young man has more sense 
than she thought he had. [Aside. 

Barn. Before you came, I had determined never to 
see you more. 

Mill. Confusion ! \Aside. 

Lucy. Ay, we are all out; this is a turn so unex- 
pected, that I shall make nothing of my part; they 
must e'en play the scene betwixt themselves. [Aside. 

Mill. Twas some relief to think, tho' absent, you 
would love me still; but to find, " tho' fortune had 
" been indulgent, that you, more cruel and incon- 

" slant," you had resolved to east me off This, as 

1 never could expect, I have not learnt to bear. 

Barn. I am sorry to hear you blame me in a reso- 
lution that so well becomes us both. 

Mill. I have reason for what I do, but you have 

Barn. Can we want a reason for parting, who have 
so many to wish we never had met? 

Mill. Look on me, Barnwell. Am I deform'd or 
old, that satiety so soon succeeds enjoyment? Nay, 
look again ; am I not she whom yesterday you 
thought the fairest and the kindest of her sex; whose 
hand, trembling with ecstasy, you press'd and 
moulded thus, while on my eyes you gazed with such 
delighi, as if desire increased by being fed? 

Barn. No more; let me repent my former follies, 
if possible, without remembering what they were. 

Mill. Why? 

Barn. Such is my frailty, that 'tis dangerous. 


Mill. Where is the danger, since we are to part ? 

Barn. The thought of that already is too painful. 

Mill. If it be painful to part, then I may hope, at 
least, you do not hate me? 

Barn. No no 1 never said I did Oh, 

my heart! f 

Mill. Perhaps you pity me? 

Barn. 1 do 1 do Indeed I do. 

Mill. You'll think upon me? 

Barn. Doubt it not, while I can think at all, 

Mill. You may judge an embrace at parting too 
great a favour though it would be the last. [He 

draws lack.~\ A look shall then suffice Farewell 

for ever. [Exeunt Millwood and Lucy. 

Barn. If to resolve to suffer be to conquer, -I 

have conquered Painful victory! 

Re-enter MILLWOOD and LUCY. 

Mill. One thing I had forgot ; 1 never must re- 
turn to my own house again. This I thought proper 
to let you know, lest your mind should change, and 
you should seek in vain to find me there. Forgive 
me this second intrusion ; 1 only came to give you 
this caution, and that, perhaps, was needless. 

Barn. I hope it was ; yet it is kind, and I must 
thank you for it. 

Mill. My friend, your arm. [To Lucy.] Now, I 
am gone for ever. [Going. 

Barn. One thing more Sure there's no danger in 
my knowing where you go? If you think otherwise 

Mill. Alas! [Weeping. 

Lucy. We are right I find ; that's my cue. [Aside. ~] 
Ah, dear sir! she's going she knows not whither; 
but go she must. 

Barn. Humanity obliges me to wish you well: why 
will you thus expose yourself to needle'ss troubles? 

Lucy. Nay, there's no help for it: she must quit 
the town immediately, and the kingdom as soon as 
possible. It was no small matter you may be sure, 
that could make her resolve to leave you. 

Mill, No more, my friend; since he for whose 


dear sake alone 1 suffer, and am content to suffer, is 
kind and pities me; where'er I wander, thro' wilds 
and deserts benighted and forlorn, that thought shall 
give me comfort. 

Barn. For my sake! Oh, tell me how, which way 
am I so curs'd to bring such ruin on thee? 

Mill. No matter; 1 am contented with my lot. 

Barn. Leave me not in this uncertainty, 

Mill. 1 have said too much. 

Barn. How, how am I the cause of your undoing? 

Mill. To know it will but increase your troubles. 

Barn. My troubles can't be greater than they 

Lucy. Well, well, sir, if she won't satisfy you, I 

Burn. I am bound to you beyond expression. 

Mill. Remember, sir, that I desired you not to 
hear it, 

Barn. Begin, and ease my racking expectation. 

Lucy. Why, you must know, my lady here was an 
only child, and her parents dying while she was 
young, left her and her fortune (no inconsiderable 
one, 1 assure you) to the care of a gentleman who 
has a good estate of his own. 

Mill. Ay, ay, the barbarous man is rich enough ; 
but what are riches when compared to love ? 

Lucy. For a while he performed the office of a 
faithful guardian, settled her in a house, hir'd her 

servants. But you have seen in what manner she 

liv'd, so I need say no more of that. 

Mill. How I snail live hereafter, Heaven knows! 

Lucy. All things went on as one could wish ; till 
some time ago, his wife dying, he fell violently in 
love with his charge, and would fain have marry 'd 
her. Now the man is neither old nor ugly, but a 
good personable sort of a man, but I don't know 
now it was, she could never endure him. In short, 
her ill usage so provoked him, that he brought in an 
account of his executorship/ wherein he makes her 
debtor to him. 


Mill. A trifle in itself, but more than enough to 
ruin me, whom by this unjust account, he had 
stripp'd of all before. 

Lucy. Now, she having neither money nor friend, 
except me, who am as unfortunate as herself, he 
compell'd her to pass his account, and give bond for 
the sum he demanded ; but still provided handsomely 
for her, and continued his courtship, till being in- 
formed by his spies (truly I suspect some in her own 
family), that you were entertained at her house, and 
staid with her all night, he came this morning raving 
and storming like a madman, talks no more of mar- 
riage (so there's no hope of making matters up that 
way), but vows her- rain, unless she'll allow him the 
same favour that he supposes she granted you. 

Barn. Must she be ruin'd, or find her refuge in 
another's arms? 

Milt. He gave me but an hour to resolve in; that's 
happily spent with you And now 1 go 

Barn. To be exposed to all the rigours of the va- 
rious seasons ; the summer's parching heat, and win- 
ter's cold; unhoused, to wander, friendless, thro' the 
unhospitable world, in misery and want; attended 
with fear and danger, and pursued by malice and re- 
venge. Wouldst thou endure all this for me, and 
can 1 do nothing, nothing to prevent it? 

Lucy. 'Tis really a pity there can be no way found 

Barn. Oh, where are all my resolutions now ? 
" Like early vapours, or the morning dew, chas'd by 
" the sun's warm beams, they're vanish'd and lost, 
" as tlio' they had never been." 

Lucy. Now I advised her, sir, to comply with the 
gentleman ; " that would not only put an end to her 
" troubles, but make her fortune at once." 

Barn. Tormenting fiend, away ! I had rather pe- 
rish, nay, see her perish, than have her saved by him. 
I will, myself, prevent her ruin, though with my 
own. A moment's patience; I'll return immedi- 
ately. [Exit Barn well. 


Lucy. Twas well you came, or by what I can per- 
ceive, yon had lost him. 

Mill. That I must confess, was a danger I did not 
foresee ; I was only afraid he should have come with- 
out money. You 'know, a house of entertainment, 
like mine, is not kept without expence. 

Lucy. That's very true; but then you should be 
reasonable in your demands; 'tis pity to discourage 
a young man. 

Mill. Leave that to me. 
Re-enter BARNWELL, with a Bag of Money . 

Barn. What am I about to do? Now you, who 

boast your reason all-sufficient, suppose yourselves 
in my condition, and determine for me; whether 'tis 
right to let her suffer for my faults, or, by this small 
addition to my guilt, prevent the ill effects of what 
is past. 

Lucy. These young sinners think every thing in 

the ways of wickedness so strange! But I could 

tell him, that this is nothing hut what's very com- 
mon ; for one vice as naturally begets another, as a 
father ,a son. But he'll find out that himself, if he 
lives long enough. [Aside. 

Barn. Here, take this, and with it purchase your 
deliverance; return to your house, and live in peace 
and safety. 

Mill. So I may hope to see you there again ? 

Barn. Answer me not, but fly, lest in the agonies 
of my remorse, 1 fake again what is not mine to give, 
and abandon thee to want and misery. 

Mill. Say but you'll come. 

Barn. You are my fate, my Heaven or my hell ; 
only leave me now, dispose of me hereafter as you 
please. \Exennt Millwood awrfJLucy. 

What have I done ? Were my resolutions founded 
on reason, and sincerely made ? Why then has Hea- 
ven suffered me to fall"? I sought not the occasion; 
and if my heart deceives rne not, compassion and ge- 
nerosity were my motives. " Is virtue inconsistent 
" with itself, or are vice and virtue only empty names ; 


" or do they depend on accidents, beyond our power 
" to produce, or to prevent; wherein we have no 
" part, and yet must be determined by the event ?" 
But why should 1 attempt to reason? All is confu- 
sion, horror, and remorse. I find I am lost, cast 
down from all my late-eiected hope, and plunged 
again in guilt, yet scarce know how or why : 
Such undistinguished horrors make my brain, 
Like hell, the seat of darkness and of pain. [Exit. 


and TRUEMAN discovered (with Account Books) 
sitting at a Table. 

" Th&rowgood. METHTNKS I would not have you 
only learn the method of merchandise, and practise 
it hereafter, merely as a means of getting wealth : 
it will be well worth your pains to study it as a 
science, to see how it is founded in reason and the 
nature of things ; how it promotes humanity, as 
it has open'd, and yet kepps up an intercourse be- 
tween nations, far remote from one another in si- 
tuation, customs, and religion ; promoting arts, 
industry, peace, and plenty; by mutual benefits 
diffusing mutual love from pole to pole. 
" True. Something.of this i have consider'd ; and 
hope, by your assistance, to extend my thoughts 
much farther. I have observ'd those countries 
where trade is promoted and encouraged, do not 
make discoveries to destroy, but to improve man- 
kind by love and friendship; to tame the fierce, 
and polish the most savage; to tench them the ad- 
vantage of honest traffic, by taking from them, 
with their own consent, their useless superfluities, 
and giving them, in return, what, from their ig- 
norance in manual arts, their situation, or some 
other accident they stand in need of. 
' Thor. 'Tis justly observ'd : the populous east, 


luxuriant, abounds with glittering gems, bright 
pearls, aromatic spices, and health-restoring drugs : 
the late found western world's rich earth glows 
with unnumber'd veins of gold and silver ore. On. 
every climate, and on every country, Heaven has 
bestow'd some good peculiar to itself. It is the 
industrious merchant's business to collect the va- 
rious blessings of each soil and climate, and with 
the product of the whole to enrich his native coun- 
try." -Well, I have examin'd your accounts; 
they are not only just, as I have always found them, 
but regularly kept, and fairly enter'd. 1 commend 
your diligence. Method in business is the surest 
guide : " he who neglects it, frequently stumbles, and 
" always wanders perplex'd, uncertain, and in dan- 
" ger." Are BarnwelPs accounts ready for my in- 
spection? He does not use to be the last on these 

True. Upon receiving your orders he retir'd, I 
thought in some confusion. If you please, I'll go 
and hasten him. 1 hope he has not been guilty of 
any neglect. 

Thor. I'm now going to the Exchange ; let him know 
at mv return I expect to find him ready. [Exeunt. 

Enter MARIA with a Book. Sits and reads. 
Mar. How forcible is truth ! The weakest mind, 
inspired with love of that, fixed and collected in itself, 
with indifference beholds the united force of earth 
and hell opposing. Such souls are raised above the 
sense of pain, or so supported that they regard it not. 
The martyr cheaply purchases his Heaven ; small are 
his sufferings, great is his reward. Not so the wretch 
who combats love with duty; whose mind, weak- 
ened and dissolved by the soft passion, feeble and 

hopeless, opposes his own desires What is an 

hour, a day, a year of pain, to a whole life of tortures 
such as these ? 


True. Oh, Barnwell! Oh, my friend ! how art thou 


Mar. Ha! Barnwell! What of him? Speak, say, 
what of Barnwel) ? 

True. 'Tii not to be conceal'd: I've news to tell 
of him, that will afflict your generous father, your- 
self, and all who know him. 
Mar. Defend us, Heaven! 

True. I cannot speak it. See there. [Gives a letter. 
- Mar. [Reads.] ' 1 know my absence will surprise 
my honoured in aster and yourself; and the more, 
when you shall understand that the reason of my 
withdrawing is my having embezzled part of the cash 
with which I was entrusted. After this, 'tis need- 
less to inform you, that 1 intend never to return 
again. Though this might have been known by ex- 
amining my accounts, yet to prevent that unnecessary 
trouble, and to cutoff all fruitless expectations of my 
return, I have left this from she lost 


True. Lost indeed! Yet how he should be guilty 
of what he there charges himself withal, raises my 
wonder equal to my grief. Never had youth a higher 
sense of virtue. Justly bethought, and as he thought 
he practised j never was life more regular than his. 
An understanding uncommon at his years, an open, 
generous manliness of temper, his manners easy, un- 
affected, and engaging. 

Mar. This, and much more, you might have said 
with truth. He was the delight of every eye, and 
joy of every heart that knew him. 

True. Since such he was, and was my friend, can 
I support his loss? See, the fairest, happiest maid 
this wealthy city boasts, kindly condescends to weep 
for thy unhappy fate, poor, ruined Barnwell! 

Mar. Trueman, do you think a soul so delicate as 
his, so sensible of shame, can e'er submit to live a 
slave to vice ? 

True. Never, never. So well I know him, I'm 
sure this act of his, so contrary to his nature, must 
have been caused by some unavoidable necessity. 
Mar. Is there no means yet to preserve him? 
D 2 





True. Oh, that there were! but few men recover 
their reputation lost, a merchant never. Nor would 
he, I fear, though 1 should find him, ever be brought 
to look his injured master in the face. 

Mar. I fear as much, and therefore would never 
have my father know it. 
True. That's impossible. 
Mar. What's the sum? 

True. 'Tis considerable; I've marked it here, 
shew it, with the letter, to your father, at his return. 
Meir. If I should supply the money, could you so 
dispose of that and the account, as to conceal this 
unhappy mismanagement from my father? 

True. Nothing more easy. But can you intend it? 
Will you save a helpless wretch from ruin ? Oh, 
'twere an act worthy such exalted virtue as Maria's i 
Sure Heaven, in mercy to my friend, inspired the ge- 
nerous thought. 

Mar. Doubt not but I would purchase so great a 
happiness at a much dearer price. But how shall he 
be found ? 

True. Trust to my diligence for that. In the 
mean time, I'll conceal his absence from your father, 
or find such excuses for it, that the real cause shall 
never be suspected. 

Mar. In attempting to save from shame, one whom 
we hope, may yet return to virtue, to Heaven, and 
you, the only witnesses of this action, 1 appeal, whe- 
ther I do any thing misbecoming my sex and character. 
True. Earth must approve the deed, and Heaven, 
I doubt not, will reward it. 

Mar. If Heaven succeeds it, I am well rewarded. 

i A virgin's fame is sullied by suspicion's lightest 

breath; and, therefore, as this must be a secret from 

my father and the world, for Barnwell's sake, for 

mine, let it be so to him. [Exeunt. 


MILLWOOD'S House. Enter LUCY and BLUNT. 
Lucy. Well, what do you think of Millwood's con- 
duct now ? 


Blunt. I own it is surprising : I don't know which 
to admire most, her feigned, or his real passion ; tho* 
I have sometimes been afraid that her avarice would 
discover her. But his youth and want of experience 
make it the easier to impose on him. 

Lucy. No, it is his love. To do him justice, not- 
withstanding his youth, he don't want understanding. 
But you men are much easier imposed on in these 
affairs, than your vanity will allow you to believe. 
Let me see the wisest of you all as much in love with 
me as Barnwell is with JlvliJlwood, and I'll engage to 
make as great a fool of him. 

Blunt. And, all circumstances coasidered, to make 
as much money of him too ? 

Lucy. I cann't answer for that. Her artifice, in 
making him rob his master at first, and the various 
stratagems by which she has obliged him to continue 
that course, astonish even me, who know ht-.r so well. 

Blunt. But then you are to consider that the mo- 
ney was his master's. 

Lucy. There was the difficulty of it. Had it been 
his own, it had been nothing. Were the world his, 
she might have it for a smile. But those golden days 
are done : he's ruined, and Millwood's hopes of far- 
ther profits there are at an end. 

filunt. That's no more than we' all expected. 

Lucy. Being called by his master to make up his 
accounts, he was forced to quit his house nnd ser- 
vice, and wisely flies to Millwood for relief and enter- 

Blunt. I have not heard of this before : how did 
she receive him ? 

Lucy. As you would expect. She wondered what 
he meant, was astonished at his impudence, and with 
an air of modesty peculiar to herself, swore so heartily 
that she never saw him before, that she put me out 
of countenance. 

Blunt. That's much indeed! But how did Barn- 
well behave? 

Lucy. He grieved ; and at length enraged at this 
D 3 


barbarous treatment, was preparing to be gone ; and 
making towards the door, shewed a sum of money, 
which he had brought from his master's, the last he 
is ever likely to have from thence. 

Blunt. But then, Millwood 

Lucy. Ay, she, with her usual address, returned 
to her old arts of lying, swearing, and dissembling; 
hung on his neck, wept, and swore 'twas meant in 
jest. The amorous youth melted into tears, threw 
the money into her lap, and swore be had rather die 
than think her false. 

Blunt, Strange infatuation ! 

Lucy. But what ensued was stranger still. As 
doubts and fears, followed by reconcilement, ever in- 
crease love where the passion is sincere ; so in him it 
caused so wild a transport of excessive fondness, such 
joy, such grief, such pleasure, and such anguish, 
that nature seemed sinking with the weight, and his 
charmed soul disposed to quit his breast for her's. 
Just then, when every passion with lawless anarchy 
prevailed, and reason was in the raging tempest lost, 
the cruel, artful Millwood prevailed upon the wretch- 
ed youth to promise what I tremble but to think of. 

Blunt.' I am amazed ! What can it be ? 

Lucy. You will be more so, to hear it is to attempt 
the life of his nearest, relation and best benefactor. 

Blunt. His uncle! whom we have often heard him 
speak of as a gentleman of a large estate, and fair cha- 
racter, in the country where he lives! 

Lucy. The same. She was no sooner possessed of 
the last dear purchase of his ruin, but her avarice, 
insatiate, as the grave, demanded this horrid sacrifice. 
JBarnwell's near relation, " and unsuspected virtue, 
" must give too easy means to seize this good man's 
" treasure;" whose blood must seal the dreadful se- 
cret, and prevent the terrors of her guilty fears. 

Blunt. Is it possible she could persuade him to do 
an act like that. He is by nature honest, grateful, 
compassionate, and generous; " and though his love, 
tf and her artful persuasions, have wrought him to 


practise what he most abhors ; yet we all can wit- 
ness for him, with what reluctance he has still 
complied: so many tears he shed o'er each offence, 
as might, if possible, sanctify theft, and make a 
merit of a crime." 

Lucy. 'Tis true, at the naming of the murder of his 
uncle he started into rage; and, breaking from her 
arms (where she till then had held him with well- 
dissembled love, and false endearments), called her 
cruel, monster, devil, and told her she was born for 
his destruction. She thought it not for her purpose 
to meet his rage with her rage, but affected a most 
passionate fit of grief, railed at her fate, and cursed 
her wayward stars, that still her wants should force 
her to press him to act such deeds, as she must needs 
abhor as well as he. She told him necessity had no 
law, and love no bounds; that therefore he never 
truly loved, but meant, in her necessity, to forsake 
her. Then she kneeled, and swore, that since by his 
refusal, he had given her cause to doubt his love, she 
never would see him more, unless to prove it true, he 
robbed his uncle to supply her wants, and murdered 
him to keep it from discovery. 

Blunt. 1 am astonished. What said he? 
Lucy. Speechless he stood ; but in his face you 
might have read, that various passions lore his very 
soul. Oft he in anguish threw his eyes towards Hea- 
ven, " and then as often bent their beams on her;" 
then wept and groaned, and beat his troubled breast; 
at length, with horror not to be express'd, he cried 
* Thou cursed fair, have t not given dreadful proofs 
of love? What drew me from my youthful innocence, 
and stained my then unspotted soul, but love? What 
caused me to rob my worthy, gentle master, but cursed 
love? What makes me now a fugitive from his ser- 
vice, loathed by myself, and scorned by all the world, 
but love ! What fills my eyes with tears, my soul 
with torture never felt on this side death before? 
Why love, love, love ! And why, above all, do I 

let 111. 


resolve (for, tearing his hair, he cried, I do resolve) 
to kill my uncle ?' 

Blunt. Was she not moved ? It makes me weep 
to hear the sad relation. 

Lucy.. Yes with joy, that she had gained her 
point. She gave him no time to cool, but urged him 
to attempt it instantly. He's now gone. It' he per- 
forms it, and escapes, there's more money for her ; if 
not, he'll ne'er return, and then she's fairly rid of him . 

Blunt. 'Tis time the world were rid of such a mon- 

Lucy. If we don't use our endeavours to prevent 
the murder, we are as bad as she. 

Blunt. \ am afraid it is too late. 

Lucy. Perhaps not. Her barbarity to Barnwell 
makes me hate her. We have run too great a length 
with her already. 1 did not think her or myself so 
wicked, as I find, upon reflection, we are. 

Blunt. 'Tis true, we have been all too much so. 
But there is something so horrid in murder, that all 
ether crimes seem nothing when compared to that : 
1 would not be involved in the guilt of it for all the 

Lucy. Nor I, Heaven knows. Therefore, let us 
clear ourselves, by doing all that is in our power to 
prevent it. I have just thought of a way that to me 
seems probable. Will you join with me to detect 
this cuised design ? 

Blunt. With all my heart. He who knows of a 
murder intended to be committed, and does not disco- 
ver it, in the eye of the law and reason is a murderer. 

Lucy. Let us lose no time; I'll acquaint you with 
the particulars as we go. [ Exeunt. 


A Walk at some distance from a Country-Seat. 

Barn. A dismal gloom obscures the face of day. 
Either the sun has slipped behind a cloud, or jour- 
neys down the west of heaven with more than com- 
m on speed, to avoid the sight of what I am doomed 


to act. Since I set forth on 'this accursed design, 
where'er I tread, methinks, the solid earth trembles 
beneath my feet. Murder my uncle ! " Yonder 
limpid stream, whose hoary fall has made a natu- 
ral cascade, as 1 passed by, in doleful accents 
seemed to murmur Murder ! The earth, the air, 
and water, seem'd concern'd. But that's not 
strange : the world is punish'd, and nature feels a 
shock, when Providence permits a good man's fall. 
Just Heaven! then what should I feel for him 
that was" my father's only brother, and since his 
death has been to me a father; that took me up an 
infant and an orphan, reared me with tenderest care, 
and still indulged me with most paternal fondness ? 

Yet here I stand his destined murderer 1 stiffen 

\vith horror at my own impiety 'Tis yet unper- 

form'd What if I quit my bloody purpose, and fly 

the place? [Going, then stops.'] But whither, oh, 

whither shall 1 fly ? My master's once friendly doors 
are ever shut against me; and without money Mill- 
wood will never see me more ; and she has got such 
firm possession of my heart, and governs there with 
such despotic sway, that life is riot to be endured 
\vithout her. Ay, there's the cause of all my sin and 
sorrow : 'tis more than love ; it is the fever of the 
soul, and madness of desire. In vain does nature, 
reason, conscience, all oppose it; the impetuous 
passion bears down all before it, and drives me on to 
lust, to theft, and murder. Oh, conscience! feeble 
guide to virtue, thou only shew'st us when we go 
astray, but wantest power to stop us in our course ! 
Ha ! in yonder shady walk I see my uncle He's 
aione Now for my disguise. [Plucks out a vizor."] 
This is his hour of private meditation. Thus 
daily he prepares his soul for Heaven ; while I- 
But what have I to do with Heaven? Ha! no strug- 
gles, conscience 

Hence , hence remorse, and every thought that's good 'j 
The storm that lust began, must endin Hood. 

[Puts on the vizor, draws a pistol, and exit. 



A close Walk in a Wood. Enter Uncle. 

Unc. If I were superstitious, I should fear some 
danger lurked unseen, or death were nigh. A heavy 
melancholy clouds my spirits. My imagination is 
filled with ghastly forms ot dreary graves, and bodies 
changed by death ; w.hen the pale lengthened visage 
attracts each weeping eye, and fills the musing soul 
at once with grief and horror, pity and aversion. 
I will indulge the thought. The wise man prepares 
himself for death, by making it familiar to his mind. 
When strong reflections hold the mirror near, and the 
living in the dead behold their future self, how does 
each inordinaie passion and desire cease, or sicken at 
the view! The mind scarce moves; the blood, curd- 
ling and chilled, creeps slowly through the veins : 
fixed, still, and motionless we stand, so like the so- 
lemn object of our thoughts, we are almost at pre- 
sent what we must be hereafter ; till curiosity awakes 
the soul, and sets it on enquiry. 

Enter BARNWELL al a distance. 
Oh, death ! thou strange mysterious power, seen 
every day, yet never understood, but by the incom- 
municative J dead, what art thou? The extensive 
mind of man, that with a thought circles the earth's 
vast globe, sinks to the centre, or ascends above the 
stars; that worlds exotic finds, or thinks it finds, thy 
thick clouds attempts to pass in vain ; lost and be- 
wildered in the horrid gloom, defeated, she returns 
more doubtful than before, of nothing certain but of 
labour lost. 

[During this speech, Barnwell sometimes pre- 
sents the pistol, and draws it lack again. 

Barn. Oh! 'tis impossible. 

[Throwing down the pistol. 
[Uncle starts^ and attempts to draic his sword. 

line. A man so near me ! armed and masked 

Barn. Nay, then, there's no retreat. 
[Plucks apoignardfrom his losom, and stabs him. 


Unc. Oh ! I am slain. All gracious Heaven, re- 
gard the prayer of thy dying servant : bless, with the 
choicest blessings, my dearest nephew ; forgive my 
murderer, and take my fleeting soul to endless mercy. 
[Barnvvell throws off his mask, runs to him, and, 

kneeling by him, raises and chafes him. 
Barn. Expiring saint ! Oh, murdered, martyred 
uncle! lift up your dying eyes, and view your nephew 

in your murderer Oh, do not look' so tenderly 

upo'n me ! Let indignation lighten from your eyes, 

and blast me ere you die. By Heaven, he weeps, 

in pity of my woes. Tears, tears, for blood ! 

The murdered, in the agonies of death, weeps for his 
murderer. Oh, speak your pious purpose ; pro- 
nounce my pardon then, and take me with you 

He would, but cannot Oh, why, with such fond 

affection, do you press my murdering hand ? [Uncle 

sighs and dies. .] " What, will you kiss me?" 

Life that hovered on his lips but till he had sealed my 
pardon, in that sigh expired.- He's gone for ever, 
" and, oh! I follow [Swoons away upon his uncle's 

" dead body."]" Do 1 still breathe, and taint with 

my infectious breath the wholesome air? Let Hea- 
ven from its high throne, injustice or in mercy now 
look down on that dear murdered saint, and me the 
murderer ; and if his vengeance spares, let pity strike 

and end my wretched being. Murder the worst of 

crimes, ancl parricide the worst of murders, and this 

the worst of parricides. " Cain, who stands on 

record, from the birth of time, and must to its last 
final period, as accursed, slew a brother favoured 
above him : detested Nero, by another hand, dis- 
patched a mother that he feared and hated : but I, 
with my own hand, have murdered a brother, mo- 
ther, father, and a friend most loving and beloved. 
This execrable act of mine is without a paral- 
lel. Oh, may it ever stand alone, the last of mur- 
ders, as it is the worst ! 

*' The rich man thus, in torment and despair t 
" Preferred his vain, his charitable pray'r. 


'* The fool, his own sonl lost, would fain le wise 
ts For others' good, lut Heav'n his suit denies. 
" By laws and means well-known we stand or fait; 
" And one eternal rule remains for all." 
Oh, may it ever stand alone accurst, 
'The last of murders, as it is the worst. [Exif. 


A Room in THOROWGOOD'S House. Enter MARIA, 

meeting TRUEMAN. 

Maria. " How falsely do they judge, who censure 
or applaud, as we are afflicted or rewarded here. 1 
knowl am unhappy; yet cannot charge myself with 
any crime, more thaft the common frailties of our 
kind, that should provoke just Heaven to mark me 
out for sufferings so uncommon and severe. Falsely 
to accuse ourselves, Heaven must abhor. Then it 
is just and right that innocence should suffer; for 
Heaven must be just in all its ways. Perhaps by 
that we are kept from moral evils, much worse 
than penal, or more improved in virtue. Or may 
not the lesser ills that we sustain be made the 
means of greater good to others ? Might all the 
joyless days and sleepless nights that I have passed, 
but purchase peace For thee, 
" Thou dear, dear cause of all my griff and pain ! 
" Small were the loss, and infinite the gain ; 
" Though to the grave in secret love I pine, 
" So life, and fame, and happiness were thine" 

What news of Barn well ? 

True. None; I have sought him with the greatest 

diligence, but all in vain. 

Mar. Does my father yet suspect the cause of his 

absence ? 

True. All appeared so just and fair to him, it is not 

possible he ever should. But his absence will no longer 

be c< cealed. Your father is wise ; and though he 
is to hearken to the friendlv excuses J would make 


for Barnvvell, yet I am afraid he regards them only 
as such, without suffering them to influence his 

" Mar. How does the unhappy youth defeat all 
our designs to serve him ! yet 1 can never repent 
what we have done. Should he return, 'twill make 
his reconciliation with my father easier, and pre- 
serve him from future reproach of a malicious un- 
forgiving world." 


Thor. This woman here has given me a sad, and, 
'bating some circumstances, loo probable an account 
of Barn well's defection. 

Lucy.\ am sorry, sir, that my frank confession of \ 
my former unhappy course of KFcj should cause you 
to suspect my truih on this occasion. 

Thor. It is not that; your confession has in it all 
the appearimce of truth. Among many other parti- 
culars, she informs me that Barnwell has been influ- 
enced to break his trust, and wrong me at several 
times of considerable sums of money. Now, as I 
know this to be false, I would lain doubt the whole 
of her relation, too dreadful to be willingly believed. 

Mar. Sir, your pardon ; I find myself on a sudden 
so indisposed that I must retire. " Providence op- 
" poses all attempts to save bim." Poor ruined Barn- 
well! Wretched, lost Maria ! [Aside. Exif. 

Thor. How am I distressed on every side ! Pity for 
that unhappy youth, fear for the life of a much Valued 

friend and then my child the only joy and hope 

of my declining life i Her melancholy increases 

hourly, and gives rne painful apprehensions of her 

loss Oh, Trueman, this person informs me that 

vour friend, at the instigation of an impious woman, 
is gone to rob and murder his venerable uncle. 

True. Oh, execrable deed ! I am blasted with the 
horror of the thought, 

Lucy. This delay may ruin all. 

Thor. What to do or "think, I know not. That he 


ever wronged me, I know is false; the rest may be 
so too; there's all my hope. 

True. Trust not to that; rather suppose all true, 
than lose a moment's time. Even now the horrid 

deed may be doing dreadful imagination ! or it 

may be done, and we be vainly debating on the means 
to prevent what is already past. 

Thor. This earnestness convinces me, that he 
knows more than he has yet discovered. What, ho! 
without there ! who waits ? 

Enter Servant. 

Order the groom to saddle the swiftest horse, and pre- 
pare to set out with speed ; an affair of life and death 
demands his diligence. [Exit Servant.'] For you, 
whose behaviour on this occasion I have no tinie to 
commend as it deserves, I must engage your further 
assistance. Return and observe this Millwood till I 
come. I have your directions, and will follow you 
as soon as possible. [Exit Lucy.] Trueman, you, I 
am sure will not be idle on this occasion. 

[ Exit Th o ro wgo od . 

True. He only who is a friend can judge of my dis- 
tress. [Exit. 


Mill. I wish I knew the event of his design. The 
attempt without success would ruin him. Well ; 
what have I to apprehend from that? I fear too 
much. The mischief being only intended, his friends, 
through pity of his youth, turn all their rage on me. 
I should have thought on that before. Suppose the 
deed done; then, and then only, I shall be secure. 
Or what if he returns without attempting it at all! 

Enter BARNWELL bloody. 

But he is here, and I have done him wrong. His 
bloody hands shew he has done the deed, but shew 
he wants the prudence to conceal it. 

Barn. Where shall I hide me? Whither shall I 
fly, to avoid the swift unerring hand of justice? 

Mill. Dismiss your fears : though thousands had 


pursued you to the door, yet being entered here, you 
are as safe as innocence. I have a cavern, by art so 
cunningly contrived, that the piercing eyes of jealousy 
and revenge may search in vain, nor find the entrance 
to the safe retreat. There will I hide you, it' any 
danger's near. 

Barn. Oh, hide me- from myself, if it be possi- 
ble; for while I bear my conscience in my bosom, 
though I were hid where man's eye never saw, nor 
light e'er dawned, 'twere all in vain. For, oh, that 
inmate, that impartial judge, will try, convict, and 
sentence me for murder, and execute me with never- 
ending torments. Behold these hands, all crimsoned 
o'er with ir.y dear uncle's blood. Here's a sight to 
make a statue start with horror, or turn a living man 
into a slatx:e! 

Mill. Ridiculous ! then it seems you are afraid of 
your own shadow, or, what's less than a shadow, 
your conscience. 

Barn. r \ hough to man unknown I did the accursed 
act,[\vhat can we hide from Heaven's all-seeing eye ? 

Mill. No more of this stuff. What advantage have 
you made of his death? or what advantage may yet 
be made of it? Did you secure the keys of his trea- 
sure, which no doubt were about him? What gold, 
what jewels, or what else of value have you brought 

Barn. Think you I added sacrilege to murder? 
Oh, had you seen him as his life flowed from him in 
a crimson flood, and heard him praying for me by the 
double name of nephew and of murderer (alas, alas, 
he knew not then, that his nephew was his murderer !) 
how would you have wished, as 1 did, though you 
had a thousand years of life to come, to have given 
them all to have lengthened his one hour! But being 
dead, I fled the sight of what my hands had done : 
nor could J, to have gained the empire of the world, 
have violated, by theft, his sacred corpse. 

Mill. Whining, preposterous, canting villain ! to 
murder your uncle, rob him of life, nature's first, 


last, dear prerogative, after which there's no injury, 
then fear to take what he no longer wanted, and 
bring to me your penury and guilt. Do you think 
I'll hazard rny reputation and life, to entertain you ? 

Barn. Ou, Millwood! this from thee? But 

1 have done. If you hate me, if you wish me dead, 
then are you happy ; for, oh, 'tis sure my grief will 
quickly end me, 

Mill. In his madness he will discover all, and in- 
volve me in his ruin. We are on a precipice from 
whence there's no retreat for both Then to pre- 
serve myself [Pauses.] There is no other way. 

'Tis dreadful, but reflection comes too late when 

danger's pressing, and there's no room for choice. 

It must be done. [Aside. Rings a I el I, enter a 

Servant.] Fetch me an officer, and seize this villain. 
He has confessed himself a murderer. Should I let. 
him escape, I might justly be thought as bad as he. 

[Exit Servant. 

Barn. Oh, Millwood! sure you do not, you cannot 
mean it. Stop the messenger ; upon my knees, I beg 
you'd call him back. 'Tis fit 1 die indeed, but not 
by you. I will this instant deliver myself into ihc 
hands of justice, indeed 1 will; for death is all I 
wish. But thy ingratitude so tears my wounded 
soul, 'tis worse ten thousand times than death w r ith 

Mill. Call it what you will; I am willing to live, 
and live secure, which nothing but your death can 

Barn. If there be a pitch of wickedness that sets 
the author beyond the reach of vengeance, you must 
be secure. But what remains for me, but'a dismal 
dungeon, hard galling fetters, an awful trial, and an 
ignominious death, justly to fall unpitied and ab- 
horred : " After death to be suspended between 
" heaven and earth, a dreadful spectacle, the warn- 
" ing and horror of a gaping crowd !" This I could 
bear, nay, wish not to avoid, had it but come from 
any hand but thine. 


Enter BLUNT, Officer, and Attendants. 
Mill. Heaven defend me! Conceal a murderer! 
Here, sir, take this youth into your custody. 1 ac- 
cuse him of murder, and will appear to make good 
my charge {They seize kirn. 

Barn. To whom, of what, or how shall 1 complain? 
I'll not accuse her. The hand of Heaven is in it, and 
this is the punishment of lust and parricide. " Yet 
" Heaven, that justly cuts me off, still suffers her to 
" live; perhaps to punish others. Tremendous mercy! 
'" So fiends are cursed with immortality, to be the 
" executioners of Heaven." 

Be warned, ye youths, who see my sad despair : 
Avoid lewd women, false as they are fair. 
' By reason guided, honest joys pursue : 
tf The fair, to honour and to virtue true, 
" Just to herself , will ne'er le false to you." 
By my example learn to shun my fate : 
(How wretched is the man who's wise too late ! ) 
Ere innocence, and fame, and life be lost, 
Here purchase wisdom cheaply, at my cost. 

[Exeunt Barnwell, Officer, and Attendants. 
Mill. Where's Lucy ? why is she absent at such a 

Blunt. Would I tyad been so too ! Lucy will soon 

be here; and I hope to thy confusion, thou devil! 

Mill. Insolent ! this to me ? 

Blunt. The worst that we know of the devil is, that 

he first seduces to sin, and then betrays to punish- 

ment. [Exit. 

'Mill. They disapprove of my conduct then, " and 

" mean to take this opportunity to set up for them- 

*' selves." - My ruin is resolved. - 1 see my dan- 

ger, but scorn bo'th it and them. I was not born to 

iall by such weak instruments. [Going. 


Thor. Where is tiie scandal of her own sex, and 
curse of ours? 

Mill. What means this insolence? Whom do ou 

E 3 


Thor. Millwood. 

iMill. Well, you have found her then. I am 

Thor. Then you are the most impious wretch that 
e'er the sun beheld. 

Mill. From your appearance I should have expected 
wisdom and moderation, but your manners belie your 
aspect. What is your business here? I know you 

Thor. Hereafter you may know me better; I am 
Barnwell's master. 

Mill. Then you are master to a villain, which, I 
think, is not much to your credit. 

Thor. Had he been as much above thy arts, as my 
credit is superior to thy malice, I need not have 
blushed to own him. 

Mill. My arts ! I don't understand you, sir; if he 
has done amiss, what's that to me? Was he my ser- 
vant, or yonr's ? you should have taught him better. 

Thor. Why should I wonder to find such uncom- 
mon impudence in one arrived to such a height of 
wickedness? " When innocence is banished, mo- 
" desty soon follows." Know, sorceress, I'm not 
ignorant of any of the arts by which you first de- 
ceived the unwary youth. I know how, step by 
step, you've led him on, reluctant and unwilling, 
from crime to crime, to this last horrid act, which 
you contrived, and by your cursed wiles even forced 
him commit. 

Mill. Ha! Lucy has got the advantage, and ac- 
cused me first. Unless I can turn the accusation, and 
fix it upon her and Blunt, I am lost. [Aside. 

Thor. Had I known your cruel design sooner, it 
had been prevented. To see you punished, as the 
law directs, is all that now remains. Poor satisfac- 
tion ! for he, innocent as he is, compared to you, 
must suffer too. " But Heaven, who knows our 
" frame, and graciously distinguishes between frailty 
" and presumption, will make a difference, though 


" man cannot, who sees not the heart, but only 
" judges by the outward action." 

Mill. I find, sir, we are both unhappy in our ser- 
vants. I was surprised at such ill treatment without 
cause from a gentleman of your appearance, and 
therefore too hastily returned it ; for which I ask 
your pardon. I now perceive you have been so far 
imposed on, as to think me engaged in a former cor- 
respondence with your servant, and some way or other 
accessary to his undoing. 

Thor. I charge you as the cause, the sole cause of 
all his guilt, and all his suffering, of all he now en- 
dures, and must endure, till a violent and shameful 
death shall put a dreadful period to his life and mise- 
ries together. 

Mill. 'Tis very strange. But who's secure from 
scandal and detraction? So far from contributing to 
his ruin, I never spoke to him till since this fatal ac- 
cident, which I lament as much as you. 'Tis true, 1 
have a servant on whose account he hath of late fre- 
quented my house, if she has abused my good opi- 
nion of her, am I to blame? Has not Barnwell done 
the same by you? 

Thor. I hear you ; pray go on. 

Mill. I have been informed he had a violent passion 
for her, and she for him: but till now I always 
thought it innocent. I know her pcor, and given to 
expensive pleasures. Now, who can tell but she may 
have influenced the amorous youm to commit this 

murder to supply her extravagancies ? It must be 

so. I now recollect a thousand circumstances that 
confirm it. I'll have her and a man-servant whom I 
suspect as an accomplice, secured immediately. I 
hope, sir, you will lay aside your ill-grounded sus- 
picions of me, and join to punish the real comrivers 
of this bloody deed. [_Offtrs to go. 

Ti.or. Madden, you pass not this way ; 1 see your 
design, but shall protect them from your malice. 

Mill. I hope you will not use your influence, and 
the credit of your name, to screen such guihy 


wretches. Consider, sir, the wickedness of persuad- 
ing a thoughtless youth to such a crime. 

Thor. I do* and of betraying him when it was 


Mill. That which you call betraying him may con- 
vince you of my innocence. She who loves him, 
though she contrived the murder, would never have 
delivered him into the hands of justice, as I, struck 
with horror at his crimes, have done. 

Thor. How should an unexperienced youth escape 
her snares? " The powerful magic of her wit and 
" form might betray the wisest to simple dotage, and 
" fire the blood that age had froze long since." Even 
I, that with just prejudice came prepared, had by her 
artful story been deceived, but that my strong con- 
viction of her guilt makes even a doubt impossible. 
\_Aside.~] Those whom subtilly you would accuse, 
you know are your accusers; and, which proves un- 
answerably their innocence and your guilt, they ac- 
cused you before the deed was done, and did all that 
was in their power to prevent it. 

Mill. Sir, you are very hard to be convinced; but 
I have a proof, which, when produced, will silence 
all objections. [Exit Millwood. 

Enter LUCY, TRUEMAN, BLUNT, Officers, &c. 

Lucy. Gentlemen, pray place yourselves, some on 
one side of that door, and" some on the other ; watch 
her entrance, and act as your prudence shall direct 
you. This way, [To Thorowgood.] and note her be- 
haviour. I have observed her ; she's driven to the 
last extremity, and is forming some desperate reso- 
lution. I guess at her design. 
Re-enter MILLWOOD with a Pistol; TRUEMAN se- 
cures her. 

True. Here thy power of doing mischief ends, de- 
ceitful, cruel, bloody woman! 

Mill. Fool, hypocrite, villain, man I thou canst 
not call me that. 

True. To call thce woman were to wrong thy sex, 
thou devil! 


Mill. That imaginary being is an emblem of thy 
cursed sex collected. A mirror, wherein each par- 
ticular man may see his own likeness, and that of all 

Thor. Think not, by aggravating the faults of 
others, to extenuate thy own, of which the abuse of 
such uncommon perfections of mind and body is 
not the least. 

Mill. If such I had, well may I curse your bar- 
barous sex, who robbed me of 'em ere 1 knew their 
worth ; then left me, too late, to count their value 
by their loss. Another and another spoiler came, and 
ill my gain was poverty and reproach. My soul dis- 
dain'd, and yet disdains, dependence and contempt. 
Riches, no matter by what means obtained, I saw 
secured the worst of men from both. 1 found it 
therefore necessary to be rich, and to that end I sum- 
moned all my arts. You call 'em wicked, be it so, 
they were such as my conversation with your sex had 
furnished me withal. 

Tkor. Sure none but the worst of men conversed 
with thee. 

Mill. Mm of all degrees, and all professions, I 
have known, yet found no difference, but in their 
several capacities ; all were alike wicked to the ut- 
most of their power. "In pride, contention, avarice, 
cruelty, and revenue, the reverend priesthood were 
my unerring guides. From suburb magistrates, 
who live by ruined reputations, as it.e anhospitable 
natives of Cornwall do by shipwrecks, 1 learned, 
that to charge my innocent neighbours with my 
crimes, was to merit their protection : for to screen 
the guilty is the less scandalous, when many are 
suspected ; and detraction, like darkness and death, 
blackens all objects, and levels all distinction. 
Such are your venal magistrates, who favour none 
but such as by their office they are sworn to pu- 
nish. With them, not to be guilty is the worst of 
crimes; and large fees, privately "paid, are every 
needful virtue. 


" Thor. Your practice has sufficiently discovered 
" your contempt of laws, both human and divine ;, 
" no wonder then, that you should hate the officers 
" of both. 

" Mill" I know you, and 1 hate you all; I ex- 
pect no mercy, and I ask for none ; 1 followed my 
inclinations, and that the best of you do every day.. 
" All actions seem alike natural and indifferent to 
" man and beast, who devour, or are devoured, as 
" they meet with others weaker or stronger than 
ts themselves. 

" Thor. What pity it is a mind so comprehensive, 
" daring, and inquisitive, should be a stranger to 
" religion's sweet and powerful charms ! 

" Mill. I am not fool enough to be an atheist, 
" though I have known enough of men's hypocrisy 
" to make a thousand simple women so. Whatever 
*' religion is in itself, as practis'd by mankind, it has 
" caused the evils you say it was designed to cure. 
" War, plague, and famine have not destroyed so 
" many of the human race, as this pretended piety 
tf has done; and with such barbarous cruelty, as if 
** the only way to honour Jleaven were to turn the 
" present world into hell. 

" Thor. Truth is troth, though from an enemy, 
t( and spoken in malice. You bloody, blind, and 
" superstitious bigots, how will you answer this ? 

" Mill." What are your laws, of which you make 
your boast, but t $he fool's wisdom, and the" coward's 
valour, the instrument and screen of all your vil- 
lanies? By them you punish in others what you act 
yourselves, or would have acted, had you been in 
their circumstances. Thejudge, who condemns the 
poor man for being a thief, had been a thief himself 
had he been poor. Thus you go on, deceiving and 
being deceived, harassing, plaguing, and destroying 
one another. But women are your universal prey. 

Women, by whom you are, the source of joy t 
With cruel arts you labour to destroy : 


A thousand ways our ruin you pursue, 
Yet blame in us those arts first taught ly you. 
Oh, may from hence each violated maid, 
By flattering, faithless, barb'rous man letray'd, 
When robb'd of innocence, and virgin fame, 
From your destruction raise a nobler name, 
T" 1 avenge their sex's wrongs devote their mind, 
And future Millwoods prove to plague mankind. 


" A Room in a Prison. Enter THOROWGOOD, 

" Thorowgood. 1 HAVE recommended to Barnvveil 

e a reverend divine, whose judgment and integrity I 
am well acquainted with. Nor has Millwood be'eri 
neglected; but she, unhappy woman, still obsti- 
nate, refuses his assistance. 

" Lucy. This pious charity to the afflicted well be- 
comes your character; yet pardon me, sir, if I 
wonder you were not at their trial. 
" Thor. I knew it was impossible to save him ; and 
I and my family bear so great a part in his distress, 
that to have been present would but have aggra- 
vated our sorrows without relieving his. 
" Blunt. It was mournful indeed. Barnwell's 
youth and modest deportment, as he passed, drew 
tears from every eye. When placed at the bar, 

' and arraigned before the revertfrjd judges, with 
many tears and interrupting sobs, he 'confessed 

' and aggravated his alienees, without accusing, or 
once reflecting on Millwood, the shameless author 
of his ruin. But she, dauntless and unconcerned, 
stood by his side, viewing with visible pride and 
contempt the vast, assembly, who all, with sympa- 
thizing sorrow, wept for the wretched youth. 
Millwood, when called upon to answer, lou'dly in- 
sisted upon her innocence, and made an artful and 
a bold defence; but finding all in vain, the inipar- 


" tial jury and the learned bench concurring to find 
" her guilty, how did she curse herself, poor Barn- 
" well, us, her judges, all mankind. But what 
" could that avail? She was condemned, and is this 
" day to suffer with him. 

" Thor. The time draws on. I am going to visit 
" Barnvvell, as you are Millwood. 

" Lucy. We have not wronged her, yet I dread 
tf this interview. She's proud, impatient, wrathful, 
" and unforgiving. To be the branded instruments 
" of vengeance, to suffer in her shame, and sympa- 
" thize with her in all she suffers, is the tribute we 
" must pay for our former ill-spent lives, and long 
" confederacy with her in wickedness. 

" Thor. Happy for you it ended when it did. 
" What you have done against Millwood I know 
" proceeded from a just abhorrence of her crimes, 
" iree from interest, malice, or revenge. Proselytes 
*' to virtue should be encouraged ; pursue your pro- 
" posed reformation, and know me hereafter for your 
" friend. 

(C Lucy. This is a blessing as unhoped for as un- 
" merited. But Heaven, that snatched us from im- 
" pending ruin, sure intends you as its instrument 
" to secure us from apostacy. 

" Thor. With gratitude to impute your deliverance 
" to Heaven is just. Many less virtuously disposed 
" than Barnvvell was, have 'never fallen in the man- 
" ner he has done. May not such owe their safety 
" rather to Providence than to themselves? With 
'* pity and compassion let us judge him. Great 
ct were his faults, but strong was the temptation.. 
" Let his ruin teach us diffidence, humanity, and 
<l circumspection : for if we, who wonder at his fate, 
" had like him been tried, like him perhaps we had 
" fallen." [Exeunt: 


A Dungeon, a Table, and a Lamp. BARNWELL 
reading. Enter THOROWGOOD at a distance. 

Thor. There see the bitter fruits of passion's de- 


tested reign and sensual appetite indulged; severe 
reflections, penitence, and tears. 

Barn. My honoured injured master, whose good- 
ness has covered me a thousand times with shame, 
forgive this last unwilling disrespect. Indeed I saw 
you not. 

Tlior. '1 is well ; I hope you are better employed 
in viewing of yourself ; " your journey's long, your 
" time for preparation almost spent." I sent a re- 
verend divine to teach you to improve it, and should 
be glad to hear of his success. 

Barn. The word of truth, which he recommended 
for my constant companion in this my sad retire- 
ment, has at length removed the doubts I laboured 
under. From thence I've learned the infinite extent 
of heavenly mercy; that my crienccs, though great, 
are not unpardonable; and that 'tis not my interest 
only, but my duty, to believe and to rejoice in my 
hope. So shall Heaven receive the glory, and future 
penitents the profit of my example. 
Thor. Proceed. 

Earn. 'Tis wonderful that words should charm, 
despair, speak peace and pardon to a murderer's con- 
science; but truth and meicy flow in every sentence, 
attended with force and energy divine. How shall jl 
describe my present state of mind? I hope in doubt, 
and trembling I rejoice; I feel my grief increase, even 
as my fears give way. Joy and gratitude now supply 
more" tears than the horror and anguish of despair 

Thor. These are the genuine signs of true repent- 
ance ; the only preparatory, t,he certain way to ever- 
lasting peace. " Oh, the joy it gives to see a soul 
formed and prepared for Heaven ! For this the 
faithful minister devotes himself to meditation, 
'abstinence, and prayer, shui,,iingthe vain delights 
of sensual joys, and daily dies, that others may live 
for ever. For this he turns the sacred volumes 
o'er, and spends his life in painful search of truth. 
The love of riches and the lust of power, he looks p 


upon with just contempt and detestation ; he only 
counts for wealth the souls he wins, and his high- 
est ambition is to serve mankind. If the reward 
of all his pains be to preserve one soul from waiy- 
dering, or turn one from the error of his ways, 
how does he then rejoice, and own his little labours 

Barn. What do I owe for all your generous kind- 
ness? But though 1 cannot, Heaven can and will re- 
ward you. 

Tlior. To see thee thus, is joy too great for words. 
Farewell. Heaven strengthen thee: Farewell. 

Barn. Oh, sir, there's something I would say, if mv 
sad swelling heart would give me leave. 
Thor. Give it vent awhile, and try. 
Barn. I had a friend 'tis true, I am unworthy- 
vet inethinks your generous example might persuade 

Could not I see him once, before I go from 

whence there's no return ? 

Thor. He's coming, and as much thy friend as 
ever. L will not anticipate his sorrow ; too soon he'll 
see the sad effect of this contagious ruin. This tor- 
rent of domestic misery bears too hard upon me. I 
must retire to indulge a weakness 1 find impossible to 
overcome. lAfide^ Much loved and much la- 
mented youth ! Farewell. Heaven strengthen thee. 

Eternally farewell. 

Barn. The best of masters and of men Farewell. 
While I live let me not want your prayers. 

Thor. Thou shall not. Thy peace being made with 
Heaven, death is already vanquished. Bear a little 
longer the pains that attend this transitory life, and 
cease from pain for ever. [jEtfzVThorowgood. 

Barn. Perhaps I shall. I find a power within, 
that bears my soul above the fears of death, and, spite 
of conscious shame and guilt, gives me a taste.of plea- 
sure more than mortal, 

Enter TRUEMAN awe? Keeper. 
Keep. Sir, there's the prisoner. [Exit Keeper. 


Barn. Trueman ! My friend, whom I so wished 
to see, yet now he's here, I dare not look upon him. 


True, Oh, Barnwell ! Barnwel! ! 

Barn. Mercy! Mercy! gracious Heaven! For 
death, but not for this, I was prepared. 

True. What have I suffered since J saw thee last! 
What pain has absence given me! But, oh, to see 
thee thus ! 

Barn. I know it is dreadful! I feel the anguish of 
thy generous soul But I was born to murder all 
wno love me ! [Both weep. 

True. I came not to reproach you ; 1 thought to 
bring you comfort; but I'm deceiv'd, for 1 have none 
to give. I came to share thy sorrow, but cannot 
bear my own. 

Barn. My sense of guilt indeed you cannot know ; 
'tis what the good and innocent, like you, can ne'er 
conceive : but other griefs at present I have none, but 
that 1 feel for you. In your sorrow I read you 
love me still ; but yet, methinks, 'tis strange, when I 
consider what I am. 

True. No more of that; 1 can remember nothing 
but thy virtues, thy honest, tender friendship, our for- 
mer happy state, and present misery. Oh, had you 
trusted me when first the fair seducer tempted you, all 
might have been prevented. 

Barn. Alas, thou knowest not what a wretch I've 
been. Breach of friendship was my first and least 
offence. So far was I lost to goodness, so devoted to 
the author of my ruin, that had she insisted on my 
murdering thee, I think I should have done it. 

True. Pr'ythee, aggravate thy faults no more. 

Barn. 1 think I should? Thus god and generous 
as you are, I should have murdered you ! 

True. We have not yet embraced, and may be in- 
terrupted. Come to my arms. 

Barn. Never, never will I taste such joys on earth; 
never will I so soothe my just remorse. Are those 
honest arms and faithful bosom fit to embrace and 
F 2 


to support a murderer? These iron fetters only shall 
clasp, and flinty pavement bear me; ^Throwing him- 
self on the ground.] even those loo good for such a 
bloody monster. 

True. Shall fortune sever those whom friendship 
joined? Thy miseries cannot lay thee so low, but 
love will find thee. Here will we offer to stern cala- 
mity ; this place the altar and ourselves the sacri- 
fice. Our mutual groans shall echo to each other 
through the dreary vault; our sighs shall number 
the moments as they pass/, and mingling tears com- 
municate such anguish as words were never made 
to express. 

Barn. Then be it so. [Rising."] Since you propose 
an intercouse of woe, pour all your griefs into my 
breast, and in exchange take mine. [Embracing?! 
Where's now the anguish that you promised ? You've 
taken mine, and made me no return. Sure peace and 
comfort dwell within these arms, and sorrow cann't 
approach me while 1 am here. ' This too is the 
" work of Heaven; which having before spoke peace 
" and pardon to me, now sends thee to confirm it." 
Oh, take, take some of the joy thai overflows my 

True. 1 do, I do. Almighty power! how hast thou 
made us capable to bear at once the extremes of plea- 
sure and of pain. 

Enter Keeper. 

Keep. Sir. 

True. 1 come. [Exit Keeper., 

Barn. Must you leave me? Death would soon have 
parted us for ever. 

True. Oh, my Barnwell ! there's yet another task 
behind. Again your heart must bleed for others' 

Barn. To meet and part with you I thought was 
all I had to do on earth. What is there more for me 
to do or suffer? 

True. 1 dread to tell thee, yet it must be known! 


Barn. Our master's fair and virtuous daughter? 

True. The same. 

Barn. No misfortune, I hope, has reached that 
maid ! Preserve her, Heaven, from every ill, to shew 
mankind that goodness is your care! 

True. Thy, thy misfortunes, my unhappy friend, 
have reached her. Whatever you and 1 have felt, 
and more, if more be possible, she feels for you. 

Barn. *' I know he doth abhor a lie, and would 
'* not trifle with his dying friend." This is indeed 
the bitterness of death. [Aside. 

True. You must remember (for we all observed it) 
for some time past, a heavy melancholy weighed her 
down. Disconsolate she seemed, and pined and lan- 
guished from a cause unknown; till hearing of your 
dreadful fate, the long stifled flame blazed out; 
" she wept, and wrung her hands, and tore her hair," 
and in the transport of her grief discovered her own 
lost state, while she lamented yours. 

Barn. " Will all the pain 1 feel restore thy ease, 
" lovely unhappy maid ! [Weeping,'] 1 ' Why did you 
not let me die, and never know it? 

True. It was impossible. She makes no secret of 
her passion for you; she is determined to see you ere 
you die, and waits for me to introduce her. 

[Exit True man. 

Barn. Vain, busy thoughts, be still! What avails 
it to think on what I might have been ! 1 now am 
what I have made myself. 


True. Madam, reluctant I lead you to this dismal 
scene. This is the seat of misery and guilt. Here 
awful justice reserves her public victims. This is the 
entrance to a shameful death. 

Mar. To this sad place then, no improper guest, 
the abandoned losi Maria brings despair, and sees the 
subject and the cause of all this world of woe. Silent 
and motionless he stands, as if his soul had quitted 
her abode, and the lifeless form alone was left behind, 
F 3 


" yet that so perfect, that beauty and death, ever at 
" enmity, now seem united there." 

Barn^ " I groan, but murmur not." Just Hea- 
ven! I am your own ; do with me what you please. 

Mar. Why are your streaming eyes still fix'd be- 
low, as though thou'dst give the greedy earth t.hy sor- 
rows, and rob me of my due? Were happiness within 
your power you should bestow it where you pleased; 
but in your misery 1 must and will partake. 

Barn. Oh, say not so, but fly, abhor, and leave me 
to my fate! Consider what you are, " how vast your 
'* fortune, and how brightyour fame. Have pity on 
" your youth, your beauty, and unequalled virtue; 
ff for which so many noble peers have sighed in 
*' vain." Bless with your charms some honourable 
lord. ".Adorn with your beauty, and by your ex- 
" ample improve, the English court, that justly 
" claims such merit:" so shall I quickly be to you- 
as though I had never been. 

Mar. When I forget you, I must be so indeed. 
Reason, choice, virtue, all forbid it. Let women, 
like Millwood, if there are more such women, smile 
in prosperity and in adversity forsake. Be it the 
pride of virtue to repair, or to partake, the ruin such 
have made. 

True. Lovely, ill-fated maid! " Was there ever 
" such generous distress before? How must this 
" pierce his grateful heart, and aggravate his woes!" 
Barn. Ere I knew guilt or shame, when fortune 
smiled, and when my youthful hopes were at the 
highest; if then to have raised my thoughts to you, 
had been presumption in me never to have been par- 
doned, think how much beneath yourself you con- 
descend to regard me now! 

" Mar. Let her blush, who proffering love, invades 
the freedom of your sex's choice, and meanly sues 
in hopes of a return. Your inevitable fate hath 
rendered hope impossible as vain. Then why 
should I fear to avow a passion so just and so dis- 
interested ? 


" True. If any should take occasion from Mill- 
ft wood's crimes to libel the best and fairest part of 
* c the creation, here let them see their error. The- 
t( most distant hopes of such a tender passion from 
" so bright a maid, might add to the happiness of 
" the most happy, and make the greatest proud: yet 
" here 'tis lavished in vain. Though by'therich pre- 
" sent the generous donor is undone, he on whom 
" it is bestowed receives no benefit. 

" Barn. So the aromatic spices of the east, which 
" all the living covet and esteem, arc with unavailing, 
" kindness wasted on the dead." 

Mar. Yes, fruitless is my love, and unavailing all 
my sighs and tears. Can' they save thee from ap- 
proaching death? from such a death? Oh, sorrow 

.insupportable! " Oh, terrible idea? What is her 

" misery and distress, who sees the first, last object 
" of her love, for whom alone she'd live, for whom 
" she'd die a thousand thousand deaths, if it were 
" possible, expiring in her arms 1 Yet she is happy 
" when compared to me. Were millions of worlds 
" mine, I'd gladly give them in exchange for her 
" condition. The most consummate woe is light to 
" mine. The last of curses to other miserable maids, 
" is all I ask for my relief, and that's denied me. 

" True. Time and reflection cure all ills. 

" Mar. All but this. His dreadful catastrophe 
<( virtue herself abhors. To give a holiday to suburb 
te slaves, and passing entertain the savage herd, who 
" elbowing each other for a sight, pursue and press 

" upon him like his fate! A mind with piety and 

" resolution armed may smile on death : But pub- 

'' lie ignominy, everlasting shame, shame the death 
" of souls, to die a thousand times, and yet survive 
* ft even death itself in never-dying; infamy Is this to 

" be endured? Can I who live in him, and must 

'* each hour of my devoted life feel all these woes re- 
" newed Can I endure this? 

" True. Grief has so impaired her spirits, she pants 
'* as in the agonies of death." 


Barn. Preserve her, Heaven, and restore her 
peace, nor let her death be added to my crimes. [Bell 
tolls.~\ 1 am summoned to my fate. 

Enter Keeper. 

Keep. Sir, the officers attend you. Millwood is 
already summoned. 

Barn. Tell 'em, I'm ready. And now, my friend, 
farewell. [Embracing.-] Support and comfort, the best 
you can, this jenourning fair. Ko more Forget not 
io pray for me. [Turning to Maria.] Would you, 
bright excellence, permit me the honour of a chaste 
embrace, the last happiness this world could give were 
mine. [She inclines towards him, they embrace.'] Ex- 
alted goodness! Oh, turn your eyes from earth and 
me to Heaven, where virtue, like yours, is ever heard! 
Pray for the peace of my departing soul. Early rny 
race of wickedness began", and soon'l reached the sum- 
mit. *' Ere nature has finished her work, and stamped 
** me man, just at the time when others begin to stray, 
" my course is finished. Though short my span of 
" life, and few my days; yet count my crimes for 
tf years, and I have lived whole ages." Thus justice, 
in compassion to mankind, cuts off a wretch like me j 
by one such example to secure thousands from future 
ruin. .*' Justice and mercy are in Heaven the same : 
" its utmost severity is mercy to the whole; thereby 
ft to cure man's folly and presumption, which else 
" would render even infinite mercy vain and inef- 

Jf any youth, like yen, in future times, 
Shall mourn my fate, tho' he abhors my crimes; 
Or tender maid, like you, my tale shall hear, 
And to my sorrows give a pitying tear ; 
To each such melting eye, and throbbing heart, 
Would gracious Heaven this benefit impart, 
Never to know my guilt, nor feel my pain, 
Then must you own you ought not to complain, 
Since you nor weep, nor shall 1 die in vain. 

[Exeunt Barnwell, and Officers. 



" The Place of Execution. The Gallows and Ladder 

" tit the farther End of the Stage. A Crowd of 

" Spectators, BLUNT, one? LUCY. 

" Lucy. Heavens! what a throng ! 

" Blunt. How terrible is death when thus pre- 
" pared ! 

" Lucy. Support them, Heaven! Thou only canst 
" support them; all other help is vain. 

" Officer. [Within.] Make way there; make way, 
" and give the prisoners room. 

" Lucy. They are here: observe them well. How 
" humble and composed young Barn well seems ! but 
" Millwood looks wild, ruffled with passion, con- 
" founded and amazed. 

" Enter BARNWELL, MILLWOOD, Officers, and 
" Executioners. 

lt Barn. See, Millwood, see, our journey's at an 
" end! Life, like a tide that's told, is passed away. 
" That short, but dark and unknown passage, death, 
" is all the space between us and endless joys, or 
'* woes eternal. 

" Mill. Is this the end of all my flattering hopes? 
" Were youth and beauty given me for a curse, and 
" wisdom only to ensure my ruin? They were, they 
" were. Heaven, thou hast done thy worst. Or, if 
" thou hast in store some untried plague, somewhat 
f( that's worse than shame, despair, and death, unpi- 
" tied death, confirmed des|>air, arid soul confound- 
te ing shame; something that men and angels cann't 
<: describe, and only fiends who bear it, can con- 
" ceive ; now, pour it now, on this devoted head, that 
" I may feel the worst thou canst inflict, and bid de- 
" fiance to ihy utmost power. 

" Barn. Yet ere we pass'd the dreadful gulf of death, 
" yet ere you're plunged in everlasting woe, oh, 
" bend your stubborn knees and harder heart, hum- 
" bly to deprecate the wrath divine! Who knows, 


but Heaven, in your dying moments, may bestow 

that grace and mercy which your life despised r 
" Mill. Why name yon mercy to a Wretch like 
< me? Mercy is beyond my hope, almost beyond 

my wish. 1 cann't repent, nor ask to be forg'uen., 
" Barn. Oh, think what 'tis to be for ever, ever ' 

miserable, nor with vain pride oppose a power thai: 

is able to destroy yon ! 

" Mill. That will destroy me ; 1 feel it will. A 
f deluge of wrath is pouring on my soul. Chains, 

* darkness, wheels, racks, sharp-stinged scorpions, 

* molten lead, and whole seas of sulphur, are light 
to what I feel. 

" Barn. Oh, add not to your vast account despair; 

a sin more injurious to Heaven, than all you've yet 


" Mill. Oh, 1 have sinned beyond the reach of 


" Barn. Oh, say not so ; 'tis blasphemy to think ] 

it. As yon bright roof is higher than the earth ; I 
( eo, and much more, does Heaven's goodness pass 

our apprehension. Oh, what created being shall 

presume to circumscribe mercy that knows no 


" Mill. This yields no hope. Though pity may 
' be boundless, yet 'tis free. 1 was doomed before ,, 

the world began to endless pains, and thou to joys 


" Barn. Oh, gracious Heaven ! extend thy pity to ; 

her ; let thy rich mercy flow in plenteous streams 

to chase her fears, and heal her wounded soul. 

" Mill. It will not be : your prayers are lost in air, 

or else returned perhaps with double blessings to 

your bosom : they help not me. 

" Barn. Yet hear me, Millwood. 

" Mill. Away, I will not hear thee : I tell thee, ; 
( youth, I am by Heaven devoted a dreadful instance 

of its power to punish. [Barnweil seems to pray.~\ 

If thou wilt pray, pray for thyself, not me. How 
' doth his fervent soul mount with his 


' both ascend to Heaven ! that Heaven, whose gates 

* are shut with adamantine bars against my prayers, 
' had I the will to pray. I cannot bear it. Sure 

* 'tis the worst of torments to behold others enjoy 
s that bliss which we must never taste. 

" Officer. The utmost limit of your time's expired. 

" Mill. Encompassed with horror, whither must 

' I go? I would not live nor die That I could 

( cease to be or ne'er had been ! 

" Barn. Since peace and comfort are denied her 
'' here, may she find mercy where she least expects 
' it, and this be all her hell ! From our example 
' may all be taught to fly the first approach of vice j 
' but if o'er taken, 

<e By strong temptation, weakness, or surprise, 

" Lament their guilt, and by repentance rise. 

" Tti impenitent alone die unf or given : 

" To s-in 's like man, and to forgive like Heaven. 

" Enter TRUEMAN. 

" Lucy. Heart-breaking sight ! Oh, wretched, 

' wretched Millwood ! 

" True. How is she disposed to meet her fate? 

" Blunt. Who can describe unutterable woe ? 

" Lucy. She goes to death encompassed with hor- 
' ror, loathing life, and yet afraid to die. No tongue 
' can tell her anguish and despair. 

" True. Heaven he better to her than her fears. 

* May she prove a warning to others, a monument 
' of mercy in herself. 

" Lucy. Oh, sorrow insupportable ! Break, break, 
' my heart !" 
True, in vain , 

With bleeding hearts, and u'eeping eyes we show, 
A humane, generous sense of others' woe; 
Unless we mark what drew their ruin on, 
And, ly avoiding that prevent our oivn. 

[Exeunt omnes. 



Spoken by MARIA. 

SJNCEfate has robl'd me of the hapless youth, 
For whom my heart had hoarded up its truth 
By all the laws of love and honour, now, 
I'm free again to choose and one of you. 

But soft With caution first I'll round me peep: 

Maids, in my case, should look before they leap. 
Here's choice enough, of various sorts and hue, 
The cit, the wit, the rake cock'd up in cue, 
The fair spruce mercer , and the tawny Jew. 

Suppose I search the sober gallery ? No ; 

There's none but 'prentices, and cuckolds all-a-row j 
And these, 1 doubt, are those that make them so: 

[Pointing to the Boxes. 

'Tis very well, enjoy the jest : But you, 

Fine powder' d sparks, nay, I am told 'tis true, 

Your happy spouses can make cuckolds too. 

'Twixt you and them the dijj'rence this, perhaps : 
The cit's ashamed whene'er his duck he traps ; 
Bui you, when Madam's tripping, let her Jail, 
Cock up your hats, and lake no shame at all. 

What if some favoured poet 1 could meet, 
Whose love would lay his laurels at my feet. 

No Painted passion's real Icve abhors 

His flame would prove the suit of creditors. 

Not to detain you then with longer pause, 
In short, my heart to this conclusion draws, ; 
I yield it to the hand that's loudest in applause. 

Printed by R. IM'Oo 
I .;, (iieeu A 1,0'ir ( 


Cumberland, R. 

The British drama